CalNonprofits Articles

Census 2020 LogoJune 27, 2019: California nonprofits have a huge stake in the Census (which takes place next year.) This morning the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the Census probably will not have a question on it about citizenship, a decision that nonprofits welcome. 

The Court appears to have left open a potential opportunity for the federal administration to add the citizenship question, and nonprofits and community advocates will continue to watch these developments closely.

The number of people counted in a state determines the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used in formulas that distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to each state. It is estimated that for every person who is counted in California, our state will receive $2,300 in federal funding -- money that goes to health clinics, HeadStart, road maintenance, food stamps, and local schools.


Any question that incorrectly implies that information on the Census form could be used against you is a question that should not be on the Census. We join with all the advocates who want to keep the Census non-political and nonpartisan. Nonprofits and local governments will continue to play a crucial role in educating residents on the importance of the census and dispelling misinformation intended to suppress participation.

“One in four Californians lives in a “hard to count” area,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits. “Nonprofits are trusted partners in many of the hard-to-count areas, and we are calling on the state, foundations and other funders to quickly get outreach grants to nonprofits in such areas, including rural, low income, and communities of color.”

It is worth noting that federal law includes extremely strong privacy protections for census data and provides severe penalties for any breach of confidentiality. CalNonprofits is a member of the Census Policy Advocacy Network (CPAN) and we will continue to actively advocate for adherence with these protections.

Look for a Census Toolkit from us in the fall, and for more information about what CalNonprofits is doing about the Census please visit

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