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Coronavirus, shelter in place upend California census count just as it’s starting

March 19, 2020

San Francisco Chronicle News Article by: Alexei Koseff

Federal officials and community organizations that had geared up for the 2020 census are delaying operations, canceling events and shifting to online outreach as the coronavirus pandemic upends the once-a-decade count in its opening stages.

In San Rafael, Stephanie McNally, advocacy and policy senior manager at Canal Alliance, has been working on census outreach since 2018. Her organization, which predominantly serves Latino immigrants, is in a census tract that the state rates as the hardest to count in Marin County.

McNally said about 80% of her census strategy was focused on in-person contacts. She spent the past year training “trusted messengers” like librarians and city council members who could remind people to fill out the questionnaire and answer questions.

All of that went out the door with the coronavirus outbreak. McNally had to cancel a community kickoff event scheduled for March 28, along with all of Canal Alliance’s canvassing. Read rest of this article on San Francisco Chronicle.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced that the census will suspend field operations for two weeks.
Photo: Adrian Sainz / Associated Press 2019

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