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Come to Your Census is the topic of a Community Forum in Newbury Park that will discuss the importance of getting an accurate count of Ventura County’s residents when the national Census for 2020 is conducted, beginning in March.
Justine Fischer, a Partner Specialist for the Census in Ventura County, will explain at the 7 p.m. forum on Saturday, Feb. 22 why the stakes are high for many reasons, among them determining eligibility for receiving federal funds and establishing the number of representatives the state will have in Congress.
Fischer will give an overview of U.S. Census history and explain how Census data is used to determine the amount of federal funds that will come to the county over the next 10 years to support things like infrastructure, policing agencies, transportation, social services and many other functions.
The Ventura County Complete Count Committee has estimated that 251,000 people in the county out of a population of 850,000 are at risk of not being counted in the Census. The county ranks as the 59th most at-risk in the nation for an undercount, which could translate into a loss of $2 billion in federal funds over 10 years, according to the community organization. Fischer will discuss factors that contribute to an undercount, what is being done to counter them and how citizens can help.
In her Census role, Fischer is working to ensure that everyone in Ventura County knows that they count. She is a community advocate with a background of working with children and youth, especially those in under-served and vulnerable communities. She was president of the California PTA from2015-17. Before that she was director of religious education for the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, now known as Chalice. Part of that job included outreach to the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), the Children’s Services Auxiliary (foster care), children with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ population.
The Community Forum at 3327 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park is open to the public and free; donations are welcome. For information, contact Randall Edwards through the church office at (805) 498-9548 or visit chaliceuu.org/justice/community-forum online.