by B. Hernandez, Contributing Writer, City of South El Monte
On August 15th, the City of South El Monte hosted a car parade to promote the 2020 Census and the importance of being counted.
The South El Monte Census Car Caravan embarked at 10 am from City Hall with Mayor Gloria Olmos, Councilman Manuel “Manny” Acosta, City Commissioners, employees and volunteers in 21 decked vehicles and traveled through various neighborhoods in the City with low census completion rates to encourage residents to fill out the 2020 Census. “Every resident’s count matters. The more South El Monte residents are counted in the 2020 Census, equals an accurate distribution of federal money for schools, medical services, roads and other vital services in our community,” said Mayor Olmos.
“Make South El Monte Count, Fill Out the Census Form Today” can be heard from Mayor Olmos and other City Officials as they encouraged community members through a microphone during the festive car procession.
Parade participants reached out of windows or dashed on to the sidewalk to give residents Census information, cloth face masks with the “Make South El Monte Count 2020 Census” design and hand sanitizers.
he fun event brought awareness to our community and reminded them as they are staying safe at home during this pandemic, they can complete their census form via online, phone or mail. It’s simple and it only takes a few minutes to complete. The last day to complete the Census is September 30, 2020, that includes online, in-person, and phone responses.
The City’s Census “South El Monte Complete Count Committee” had various community outreach events scheduled to get more South El Monte residents to participate, especially in the hard to count areas, however due the COVID-19 pandemic they had to be cancelled.
The Committee has utilized more social media, the City’s monthly newsletter and other mediums to get the word out on the importance of census participation in South El Monte. As of August 17th, South El Monte’s response rate is 60%.
The Committee will be hosting a Drive Thru/Walk Up this month to provide information and answer any additional questions concerning the 2020 Census. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing protocol will be in place. If you are unable to wear a mask, please call (626) 579-2043 to request a reasonable accommodation.
Residents who have not filled out of the census form out of fear are reminded that by law, their information cannot be disclosed to any agency including immigration and law enforcement. Additionally, the citizenship question is not included on the 2020 Census survey.
Furthermore, as of August 11th, census takers have been visiting homes of individuals who have not filled out the 2020 Census survey. They are wearing face masks and following COVID-19 public health guidelines when they visit homes. As a reminder, they will not ask for your social security number, citizenship status, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party; or your bank or credit card account numbers.
Help shape your family’s and community future by completing the 2020 Census. For more information about the Census visit my2020census.gov or call the toll-free number 844-330-2020.