2020 Census: Counting On Your Count

The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. It is mandated by the Constitution and conducted every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau, a non-partisan government agency.

Between March 12 and March 20, every household in the U.S. and its five territories will receive invitations to respond to the 2020 Census and complete the survey by Census Day, April 1, 2020.

Statistics from the survey determine how much federal funding California will receive for public services over the next ten years, the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

L.A. County states that its goal this year is “to count all of its residents, among them, those living in ‘Hard-to-Count’ (HTC) areas.” Topanga Canyon is not considered HTC, which leaves some residents concerned.

“New technologies are altering the way things get done,” says resident Tam Taylor. “It can be challenging in general but especially to older populations. Seems like we should find ways to make sure Topanga gets counted.”

Tina Marquez Herzog, Chief Executive Office, County of Los Angeles, suggests, “If Topanga wants to host an upcoming meeting, the County can ask the U.S. Census Bureau to attend and make a presentation. The County is also hosting Census Questionnaire Centers/Kiosks at County Libraries, so that residents who may not have a computer or internet service can use this opportunity to fill out the Census survey online.”

Topanga Library Manager Ashley Abrams says it’s too early to know whether the Topanga Library will have a kiosk or not, but they are preparing and training for the Census rollout.

“As part of L.A. County’s Census initiative,” she says, “Chrysty Harding and I will be participating as ‘Census Ambassadors’ to provide resources and information as needed and assist people in filling out the Census questionnaire online. Anyone can come in to use the computers and we’re here to help,” Abrams says.



It’s not too late to apply for a temporary part-time position with the 2020 Census. Applicants have an opportunity to earn extra income and help their community.

Jobs for the 2020 Census include both field and office positions throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. A single application allows the applicant to be considered for several positions, including census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff.

Currently, census takers are needed for Woodland Hills, The pay rate is $22.50-$25 an hour. Census takers also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where applicable.

Participating in the census as a census taker offers a unique perspective on local demographics. Hours for field positions are flexible, with daytime, evening and weekend hours, making census work an ideal opportunity for seniors or college students. The minimum age to apply is 18. There is no other age limit. For more information, visit https://2020census.gov


Flavia Potenza

Flavia Potenza is executive editor of the Messenger Mountain News. She is also a founding member of the 40-year old Topanga Messenger that closed its doors in 2016. She can be reached at editor@messengermountainnews.com

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