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National City Prepares For 2020 Census After Undercount In 2010

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis talks about her city's plan to boo...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis talks about her city's plan to boost resources for an accurate census count next year on on Aug. 22, 2019.

Officials and business leaders in National City next year are aiming to avoid a repeat of the 2010 census when, they believe, their immigrant-majority city was undercounted.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said her office estimates that the 2010 census undercounted the residents of National City by almost 30%.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

And that was before the Trump administration waged a yearslong and ultimately unsuccessful effort to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. National City’s population is more than 40% foreign-born.

Letting people know that their information is secure is something the city is focusing on heading into next April’s census.

Reported by Max Rivlin-Nadler , Video by Matthew Bowler

RELATED: Effort Underway To Ensure Every Californian Is Counted In The Census

“There’s no citizenship question on the census. It is a nine-question survey that should be quick, painless and easy,” Sotelo-Solis said.

Low participation in the 2010 census hurt the growing, low-income city when it came to both federal support and representation in Washington. Sotelo-Solis says the city will focus on making sure that residents on both ends of the age spectrum participate.

“We know that 0-5 ages are undercounted, and our older adult population is undercounted,” Sotelo-Solis told KPBS. “We want to be purposeful in our efforts and partnerships through the city with agencies that are trusted, and that will make sure people know that a census is coming and that there’s no doubt that the information collected will not be used for nefarious purposes.”

After the press conference, the mayor and census officials led a presentation for local groups on how they can spread the word about the upcoming census.

National City is in the process of applying for part of the $1.56 million that the San Diego Association of Governments has set aside to help local governments launch efforts to get as close to 100% participation in the upcoming census as they can.

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Claiming they are denied promotions and pay, reservists and guard troops are suing their civilian employers under a federal law designed to protect their civilian careers. Plus, the city of Santa Monica is ramping up rental subsidies for seniors, National City is preparing for the 2020 Census after an undercount in 2010, and Scripps researchers have created a disease detecting method to uncover Zika outbreaks.

Aired: August 23, 2019 | Transcript

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