Friday, April 10, 2009

Every One Counts in Los Angeles

I attended two events recently to promote the 2010 U.S. Census and the importance for all Angelenos to participate in this vital process. In the last census in 2000, it’s estimated that Los Angeles was undercounted by nearly 77,000 people, costing our city more than $200 million in federal dollars over the decade since. The sad irony is the people who would have benefited the most from the lost funding in health, education and emergency services, are the ones who were the most undercounted: children from low-income families, people of color, immigrants and the homeless. But there’s hope. The Mayor’s office is taking a proactive role in ensuring that we are not undercounted this time around. On Monday, I joined with other City leaders and about 500 enthusiastic Census workers who were beginning their pre-Census preparation of address checking known residents. Please spread the word that the information gathered is solely for Census data, which helps get those much needed federal dollars and to establish congressional representation. In these lean economic times, we simply cannot afford to lose another $200 million.