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Fresno Remains Behind State Average For 2020 Census Response


The City of Fresno’s response rate to the 2020 census is lower than the state average of 63.5%. Right now, 62.3% of households have responded, but the rate falls below 50% in certain Fresno zip codes.

To increase the response rate, census workers will begin knocking on doors on August 11. They will practice social distancing, wear masks and apply hand sanitizer to mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19, according to Donald Bendz, a spokesperson for the Census Bureau. He added, people should be wary of scammers. 


“The Census Bureau will never ask for your bank account or your social security number,  they [will] stick to your name, age, whether you're a renter or an owner,” Bendz said. “Those are all standard 2020 questions and you’ll know they’re legitimate if they are sticking to those questions.” 


Filling out the census is important for receiving federal funding for local communities--especially during a pandemic, according to Bendz.


“Everyone is dealing with COVID-19,” Bendz said. “Everyone needs some kind of community relief or community funding in different ways, and so the census data is a way to get your fair share based on the population of your community.”   


The Fresno County Board of Supervisors is also considering a $100,000 request to the- California Complete Count- Census 2020Office for outreach activities that would promote filling out the census. The deadline for the census has been extended to September 30 due to COVID-19. 

Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.