California Leaders Invest Millions to Ensure Complete Census Count

SACRAMENTO --  The 2020 Census will be the first-ever digitally focused census as officials at the State Capitol are trying to make sure every single Californian participates, but say the Trump administration is making that task that much more difficult.

"Whether you're rich or poor, young or old, citizen or immigrant, you count and we should count you," Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

It all comes down to one question.

The Trump administration wants to ask people whether they are legal citizens on next year's census, which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down early Thursday before asking the administration to prove why that question would be necessary.

California leaders say they're almost certain that question would result in an undercount.

"The stakes could not be higher," Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. "An undercount would have negative consequences for California that would be felt for the next decade."

The census is used to determine how many electoral college votes each state gets and how much federal funding California will receive over the next 10 years.

"That funding will play a role in determining how many kids are in the classrooms that your children attend, how long you'll have to wait for a bus, how ready we'll be the next time a fire, an earthquake or a mudslide hits your community," Becerra said.

And the top officials in the state say every single person living in California would feel the effects of an undercount.

"A thousand dollars per individual per year is what's at stake for undercounting a member of this great state," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

That's why the governor is investing more money than ever before into a major campaign to encourage every Californian to participate.

"One hundred and eighty-seven million dollars is being invested to make sure we get a complete count," Newsom said. "No state in America comes close to making that kind of investment."

The citizenship question will not appear on the census as of now, but state officials say their fight is not over and they need everyone's help to make sure California gets an accurate count.

"If you don't participate in the census, Trump wins," Newsom said. "It's as clear as that."

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