Congresswoman Sanchez champions 2020 census at State of the Nation address
NORWALK - Congresswoman Linda Sanchez emphasized the importance of the upcoming census to several local chambers of commerce and community elected officials during her State of the Nation event last week.
The yearly event was jointly organized by the chambers of commerce from the cities of Artesia, Cerritos, La Mirada, Lakewood, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, and Whittier. It was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Norwalk.
Sanchez described those in attendance as “a phenomenal group.”
“We have nine of my chambers of commerce in one room together,” said Sanchez. “I really want to thank each and every single one of the individual chambers for coming together and working to this event, because I’m really proud of the communities I represent.”
The Congresswoman opened her address with Congress’s recent approval of a two-year bipartisan spending plan, which Sanchez called the “best news this year.”
“That is really good because it provides certainty for our state, and for our municipalities,” said Sanchez. “The deal that they put together is a framework for future spending decisions, and it’s going to help avoid the high-stakes drama of government…”
The plan will carry on through next year’s presidential election.
Still, Sanchez cautioned that “just keeping the lights on isn’t quite enough,” moving on to one of the main points of her speech: the 2020 Census.
The Constitution mandates that a census be held every ten years to determine the number of congressional seats each state receives, based on current population.
Sanchez said it is “probably the issue that is most important right now.”
“This particular issue is something that everyone in this room should care about,” said Sanchez. “Clearly, in terms of representation, it’s important, but there are many other reasons why an accurate census is important.”
The census is also critical in determining federal resource distribution.
“The census determines funding for about 130 different federal programs; some of those programs include public health, education, and infrastructure,” said Sanchez. “If you are not accurate in counting the people in your state and you’re under-counting, you lose out on billions of dollars of federal money.”
Sanchez went on to add that “we have to absolutely make sure that [California] has a full accounting so that we get our fair share of federal resources.”
Sanchez said that it is estimated that about 1.5 million Californians were not counted in the previous census, which was held in 2010.
“An under-count of 1.5 million means we basically could have two more additional congressional seats, but we don’t because of the under-count,” said Sanchez. “In my district, in several of my communities – especially Bellflower, Hawaiian Gardens, Montebello, Norwalk, and South Whittier – they have census tracks that are considered hard to count. We need to make sure we’re doing everything to make sure that those communities are fully counted.”