Long Beach, CA
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File #: 19-0551    Version: 1 Name: CM - Census
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 4/16/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 6/11/2019 Final action: 6/11/2019
Title: Recommendation to receive and file a presentation on the status of Census 2020 planning; and Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an agreement, and any necessary documents and amendments, with the County of Los Angeles, to accept, expend, and administer County allocated funding, in the amount of $322,141, to support Census 2020 outreach efforts to Hard-To-Count (HTC) communities. (Citywide)
Sponsors: City Manager
Attachments: 1. 061119-R-35sr&att.pdf, 2. 061119-R-35 PowerPoint.pdf
Related files: 35453_000

TITLE

Recommendation to receive and file a presentation on the status of Census 2020 planning; and

 

Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute an agreement, and any necessary documents and amendments, with the County of Los Angeles, to accept, expend, and administer County allocated funding, in the amount of $322,141, to support Census 2020 outreach efforts to Hard-To-Count (HTC) communities.  (Citywide)

 

DISCUSSION

The decennial census is a point-in-time population and housing count of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas as of April 1st of each census year.  Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates an enumeration of everyone residing in the U.S. every ten years.  This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and noncitizens.  Population totals are due to the President by December 31st of the census year for reapportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to the states one year from census day for redistricting, to define representative boundaries for congressional, state, and local legislative districts.  Results of the decennial census also determine sampling frames (address lists) for the American Community Survey (ACS) and other Department of Commerce-Census Bureau (Census Bureau) surveys that, in turn, produce essential trend-data on the economy, housing, crime, poverty, unemployment, health, education, and other demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

 

Decennial census data are also used as a basis to facilitate the distribution, directly and indirectly, of more than $675 billion in annual federal funds.  These funds are received through 132 programs and delivered to states and local communities, providing them with essential resources for public safety, transportation, environmental protection, housing, health and human services, community and economic development, and education.  The State of California (State) receives approximately $77 billion in federal funding each year.  The City of Long Beach (City) receives more than $80 million annually in federal funding and approximately $32 million in non-federal population-based grants. According to the California

 

Department of Finance, the State could lose $1,950 per year for ten years for each person not counted in the decennial census.  Combined with the importance of ensuring for an equitable share of political representation and federal resources, accurate decennial census data are foundational to reliable research, planning, and informed decision-making concerning the advancement of public policy, commercial enterprise, philanthropy, and other related public and private interests impacting the well-being of states and local communities.  

 

California is designated by the Census Bureau as the hardest to count state in the nation, with approximately 10.4 million Californians living in census tracts and block groups labeled “hard-to-count” (HTC). The Census Bureau currently defines a HTC census tract or block group as one where more than 27 percent of households are not likely to complete the decennial census questionnaire, based on mail-return rates in 2010.  HTC groups generally include, but are not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, low-income communities, highly-mobile residents, people residing in non-traditional housing or experiencing homelessness, and particularly young children under age five.  Los Angeles County (County) is the largest county in the nation with the highest number of HTC census block groups.  Long Beach has the second highest number of HTC census block groups of any city in the county, behind Los Angeles.  A map of HTC census block groups in Long Beach is provided as Attachment A. 

 

Changes in Methodology

 

The Census Bureau is facing significant financial constraints for the 2020 Census.  To contain costs and concurrently ensure a high-quality population count, the Census Bureau is leveraging technology to implement a modernized and more efficient 21st Century decennial census.  In 2020, the nation will experience its first ever digital census that will also rely heavily on automation and the use of administrative records and third-party commercial data for its administration.  With these administrative changes, there will be a reduction in field-operations (offices and outreach) and greater reliance on technology for the population count.  The Census Bureau also has decided to add a citizenship status question to the decennial census questionnaire for the first time since 1950. This decision is subject to the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected in June 2019 on litigation by several states and cities, including New York and California, to prevent the addition of the citizenship question. The City is a co-petitioner in California’s case, along with Los Angeles County and the Cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, Freemont, and Stockton. 

 

With these historic administrative changes by the Census Bureau to the decennial census, several new census undercount risk factors have become apparent.  Risk factors generally include:

                     Having a complete and accurate address list on file with the Census Bureau;

                     Convenient access to computers and/or broadband service and level of digital literacy, particularly for HTC populations;

                     Heightened privacy and trust concerns, particularly with immigrant communities;

                     Language access for linguistically diverse communities; and,

                     Availability of physical locations where people can complete or receive assistance with completing the census questionnaire.

 

City of Long Beach Approach

 

The Mayor’s Office and City Manager’s Office have engaged with City departments and local community-based organizations to ensure everyone in our community is counted.  As an initial step of Phase I planning, the City completed its LUCA project in the summer of 2018, an eight-month process to update the City’s Master Address File with the Census Bureau.  As part of this effort, the City identified 5,800 new address locations through a combination of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology records and the engagement of five local community-based organizations (Centro Cha, United Cambodian Community, St. Luke Holy Baptist Church, Latinos in Action, and LB Forward) in a pilot community-based canvassing initiative to identify “low visibility,” non-traditional housing locations not captured in official records.  Phase I also consisted of several other community engagement efforts, culminating with a collaboration with the State Census Office to sponsor one of the 24 Statewide Regional Readiness Assessment Convenings at the Long Beach Convention Center on August 2, 2018.  

 

In September 2018, the City Census Team initiated Phase II by hiring an Executive FUSE Fellow to work with organizational and community stakeholders to develop a 2020 Census Engagement and Mobilization Plan.  The goal of Phase II planning is to develop a strategic action plan for Census 2020 to guide community engagement and mobilization efforts, in coordination with the City, community organizations, and the Los Angeles County Complete Count Committee (LAC-CCC), led by the County and City of Los Angeles, in a manner that is consistent with statewide planning priorities.  The primary objective of Phase II planning is to build the required organizational infrastructure within the City organization and community. To achieve this, the City Census Team has built relationships with key community partners, engaged in Countywide Census 2020 planning, activated City departments in an internal planning process. 

 

To date, Phase II activities have focused on intensifying partner and stakeholder engagement, expanding organizational engagement, and creating a strategic plan framework. An overview of 2020 Census phases includes: 

 

Phase 1: Convene, Collaborate, and Capacity Build - FY 17/18

Phase 2: Educate, Motivate, and Activate - FY 18/19

Phase 3: Count (Deploy, Count, Assess) - FY 19/20

 

Complete Count Committee

 

The City Manager intends to convene a committee composed of interested stakeholders to provide input and suggestions on the City’s implementation strategies of a strategic and broad-based public awareness campaign, to enable full participation of Long Beach residents in the 2020 Census. The City Manager will engage representative community-stakeholders from the following areas: Community- and Faith-based Organizations; Local Government; Education; Public Health; Business; Workforce Development; Housing; Neighborhoods; Public Engagement (Media, Special Events, Volunteers); Information Technology; and, Language and Disability Access. 

 

Funding Allocation Authorization

 

To account for the historic changes to the decennial census and to support planning and outreach efforts statewide, the State has made an unprecedented investment of $100.3 million for 2020. This investment includes $10 million in FY 2017-18, including $3 million to establish the State Census Office and $7 million to encourage local jurisdictions to participate in the Census Bureau’s  Local Update to Census Addresses (LUCA) program, which the City utilized to identify previously unverified addresses and non-traditional housing locations. This investment also includes $90.3 million in FY 2018-19 for State and local census outreach.  The State’s focus is primarily on engaging HTC communities in the census to avoid an undercount and any subsequent loss of resources and Congressional representation.  An additional $54 million is proposed for the FY 2019-20 State Budget.  Of the $90.3 million available in FY 2018-19, the State has allocated $26.7 million for direct contracts with counties across ten regions to administer and distribute census funding to local communities across the State. 

 

On November 9, 2018, the State of California Complete Count 2020 Census Office (CCC Office) advised the Chief Executive Office of the County of Los Angeles of its intent to authorize a grant of $9,393,090 to assist the County with the implementation of 2020 Census efforts. On March 21, 2019, the County executed an opt-in agreement with the State to allocate funding to support HTC communities outreach efforts in cities and unincorporated areas (UAs).  The County recognized the high number of HTC block groups within Long Beach and, therefore, decided to allocate direct funding to the City in the amount of $322,141. This funding has been identified by the State and County to be used for a broad range of activities that ensure the accomplishment of a complete and accurate count of HTC communities. These activities include, but are not limited to, support for CBOs and faith-based organizations, City departments outreach efforts, including 2020 Census Action Kiosks (locations where the public can access and complete the digital Census questionnaire). The City plans to use the allocated funding in a manner that maximizes existing and planned 2020 Census efforts to reach HTC communities and meet County census outreach priorities.

 

This presentation updates the City Council on implementation of the Census 2020 planning efforts to date. The City Census Team will provide additional updates at key milestones of the Census 2020 process.

 

This matter was reviewed by Deputy City Attorney Taylor M. Anderson on June 3, 2019 and by Budget Management Officer Rhutu Amin Gharib on May 31, 2019.

 

TIMING CONSIDERATIONS

City Council action is requested on June 11, 2019, to allow timely implementation of the Census 2020 outreach efforts.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

The requested action is expected to have a significant impact on staff hours beyond the normal budgeted scope of duties and is consistent with existing City Council priorities.  Temporary staffing and some contractual services will be necessary to support management and coordination of Census 2020 activities.  Staff will draw upon the $322,141 in State funding provided through the City’s contract with the County, but will also likely need additional one-time City resources to meet the needs of the campaign.  The City’s Census 2020 campaign will also require significant staff resources from City departments that could impact existing priorities.  Any additional one-time resources needed for the campaign will be requested as part of the FY 20 budget development process. 

 

SUGGESTED ACTION

Approve recommendation.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

PATRICK H. WEST

CITY MANAGER