Central Valley Census Collaboration
CVIIC (Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative) has identified the 2020 Census as a priority issue and is committed to ensure that immigrant communities in our region are counted in an accurate manner during the enumeration process. Immigrants in the Central Valley are among the key social groups considered hard to count. An unsuccessful and inaccurate count of immigrants and their family members in the Central Valley can have serious implications for the communities in which they reside. To this end, CVIIC staff members are working with representatives of numerous organizations, state and federal agencies, elected officials, media partners and other community leaders to develop a Central Valley census collaboration strategy.
The CVIIC 2020 Census strategy for the Central Valley includes the following elements:
Support for the Creation of Local Level Coalitions/Complete Count Committees
The 2020 Census process may seem like it is still a long ways off but its effective implementation in the Central Valley requires long term preparation and organization that must begin now. The 2020 Census will bring about a series of significant challenges for hard to count communities in the Central Valley and other parts of the nation. Local organizations that work with hard to count communities can become valuable assets to the enumeration process and the development of a local and regional strategy. The engagement of local organizations and the coordination of their efforts can be facilitated by the creation of local/county level coalitions or complete count committees.
CVIIC is seeking to promote and support the creation of county level complete count committees in Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Kings, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. The trust the local level organizations have gained from local residents will be fundamental for successful communication, outreach and enumeration efforts. Central Valley census efforts, if they are to be successful, require the active participation of a wide range and large number of local organizations.
Central Valley Census Organizational Capacity Building
In addition to promoting the creation of county level committees, CVIIC is committed to contribute to the capacity building of the committees and the member organizations. This includes the possibility of offering training opportunities, providing minigrants to cover costs of meetings and other organizational expenses, developing dedicated listservs for each county level group, establishing direct links with state and federal agencies, the sharing of resources and connecting the committees to possible funding opportunities.
Central Valley Census Regional Coordination and Networking
Organizations serving immigrants in the Central Valley and other hard to count communities in the region will run into many of the same challenges when working on 2020 Census related activities. Hence, CVIIC considers that effectiveness and efficiency can be enhanced greatly if there is also communication and coordination of efforts across the region, not just at the local level. A regional coordination with representatives from the various county-level committees can facilitate this process, avoid reinventing the wheel in each organizational instance, promote the sharing of resources and address the broader challenges that may be more difficult to address at the local level.
Central Valley 2020 Census Research
High quality and reliable information is essential to make informed decision and to plan accordingly. Applied research can also help provide solutions to problems, such as the undercount of people in the 2020 Census efforts. CVIIC is participating actively in the generation of contemporary research projects related to the 2020 Census process. This has included the development of projects to improve the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) process, with separate studies being carried out in Fresno and Stockton. At present, CVIIC is also participating with the California Institute for Rural Studies in study designed to analyze the relationship between Central Valley immigrants and the 2020 Census. This research project is designed to include hundreds of interviews with local residents and many focus groups.
Central Valley Census Advocacy
CVIIC’s Central Valley census priorities include advocacy. The 2020 Census process includes numerous opportunities to engage in advocacy efforts. This includes the participation in efforts to eliminate the proposed citizenship question in the census, the need to engage local, state and federal agencies in matters impacting Central Valley communities, advocating for increased state funding for nonprofit organizations, among others. The 2020 census also offers possibilities to engage immigrants and other residents in discussions and activities related to their rights as members of the American polity. Our democratic process is enriched with the participation of all social sectors in matters of importance, as is the case with the census.