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File #: 20-102    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 2/13/2020 Departments: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 5
On agenda: 3/10/2020 Final action: 3/10/2020
Title: Adopt a resolution urging the United States Census Bureau to provide Census 2020 paper questionnaires for languages groups besides English and Spanish that are spoken by 100,000 or more United States residents, including Chinese, Tagalog and Russian.
Sponsors: David J. Canepa
Attachments: 1. 20200310_r_Census 2020 Non-English Paper Questionnaires.pdf
Special Notice / Hearing: None__
Vote Required: Majority

To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: David J. Canepa, Supervisor, District 5
Subject: Request to Provide Census 2020 Paper Questionnaires in Multiple Languages

RECOMMENDATION:
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Adopt a resolution urging the United States Census Bureau to provide Census 2020 paper questionnaires for languages groups besides English and Spanish that are spoken by 100,000 or more United States residents, including Chinese, Tagalog and Russian.

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BACKGROUND:
The decennial Census is one of the cornerstones of America's democracy, and a full and complete count is crucial to ensuring accurate political representation and an equitable distribution of federal and other resources. The U.S. Census Bureau chose not to provide non-English questionnaires for Census 2020, with the exception of Spanish. The elimination of non-English printed questionnaires will result in a disproportionate and adverse impact in both California and the County of San Mateo.
It is notable that this elimination of non-English questionnaires is a departure from past practice, as the U.S. Census Bureau provided paper copies of the Census 2010 questionnaire in English and, by request, in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian.

DISCUSSION:
According to The New School Digital Equity Laboratory, 35% of adults in the United States still do not have access to the internet at home. This includes 53% of Latinx adults; 43% of Black adults; 42% of rural residents; more than 50% of those over the age of 65; and over half of those earning less than median income, all of whom lack access to the internet at home. In San Mateo County, 12% of residents do not have broadband subscriptions.

Notwithstanding the lack of home internet access in many communities, the Census Bureau has decided to mail paper 2020 Census questionnaires printed only in English and Spanish, opting to collect data and provide language support in 11 oth...

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