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Santa Maria census workshops target community education, city funding

Posted at 4:14 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 22:46:05-04

Community education is the goal for the city of Santa Maria’s census workshops.

The city held one of the workshops today at the public library where 19 people attended, including city staff. Another one is coming up next week, June 5 at 12 p.m. at the same location.

Public information manager Mark van de Kamp said the workshops can play a pivotal role in a campaign to educate the community about the upcoming census, which may be impacted by a Supreme Court decision to include a question about a resident’s citizenship status.

Van de Kamp said one of the primary concerns is an undercount of residents — whether or not they are citizens. It’s also the first time residents are being counted digitally.

“It is only a ten question form and not everyone necessarily has access to a computer,” said van de Kamp.

California is spending $100 million dollars on the census, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. That gives the city an incentive to count every resident in the city.

“Everyone has a role to play in ensuring it is fair and accurate because an undercount would mean less federal money and representation for our community,” said van de Kamp.

Readers can contact the city of Santa Maria for more information on the workshops at (805) 925-0951.