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$1 million in grants made to ensure accurate census count next year

13 hard-to-count counties share in award to make sure all are counted

The California Complete Count effort has announced the availability of $1 million in grants to fund outreach efforts in 13 counties.

The funding will be offered to County Complete Count committees in the top 13 hardest-to-count (HTC) counties allowing targeted funds to reach 80 percent of the HTC population in the state.

"Engaging hard-to-count communities is at the heart of our outreach strategy in 2010," said Census 2010 Director Ditas Katague. "These counties provide important services to Californians that may be missed by the Census. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure that these populations are included."

The HTC counties were ranked based on their share of the Census 2000 undercount and from figures derived by Department of Finance population projections. HTC refers to people and communities that have been shown to be most at risk of being missed in the census.

The Census Bureau identifies HTC communities according to 12 different factors, including housing status, poverty, population mobility and language spoken at home.

In order for the counties to be eligible for funding, County Complete Count committees must submit a general plan outlining their outreach strategy and how their efforts coordinate and leverage existing federal, state and community outreach activities. The California Complete Count effort, coordinated out of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, will review general plans, provide technical assistance and allocate the funds in early 2010.

Among the 13 counties slated to receive the grants, five are in the Bay Area. They include Alameda County, which will receive 5 percent of the grant; Contra Costa, 2.38 percent; San Francisco, 3.13 percent, and Santa Clara County, 4.38 percent.

Los Angeles County will receive the largest share of the grant at 43 percent.

National Census Day is April 1, 2010. The decennial Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and participation is required by law.

The questionnaire for the upcoming 2010 Census will be one of the shortest in the history: just 10 questions that will take only 10 minutes to complete. All responses will be kept strictly confidential.

--Jeb Bing

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