Don’t ghost the 2020 Census—be counted this April

by: Amy Blasco

Q: Which important national holiday is celebrated on April 1?

A: Yes, April Fools’ Day, but it’s also Census Day, and that’s no joke!

By this date, every home in America should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.

As we mentioned in a previous blog, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts an accurate count of our country’s population every 10 years. The data collected by the Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It will also be used for redistricting and allocating money to for schools, healthcare and other public services. For reference, San Luis Obispo County received approximately $92.5 million in federal funding in fiscal year 2018-2019.

If you haven’t already guessed, the best way to celebrate Census Day is to complete the Census. Why? Because an accurate count of the population will bring more resources to our county and California as a whole.

Of course, counting every man, woman and child in SLO County is easier said than done, especially considering 2020 is the first year the Census is being conducted primarily online. To help the County of San Luis Obispo gather the most accurate data possible, Verdin created a marketing tool kit to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds.

The kit included mobile ads, social media content, posters, flyers and fact sheets designed to explain the importance of the Census and empower people to participate. For example, many people might not be aware that the Census counts college students in their county of current residence—not the county in which their families live. (Interesting fact: College employees are tasked with counting on-campus residents, but off-campus students must complete the Census.)

The materials for this target audience used humor and school pride to engage with students at Cal Poly and Cuesta.

Another hard-to-count demographic includes renters and households with roommates or multiple families. In this case, one person acting as the “head of household,” such as a landlord or the primary bill payer, must take the Census for everyone on the property. Verdin created materials in English and Spanish for this group, and focused on reassuring people that their personal information will be kept confidential in accordance with the law.

The overall message: Everyone counts in SLO County, including you.

For more information, including instructions for taking the Census, visit

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