Remind and encourage all parishioners to fill out Census 2020 online, by phone or by mail. Go to my2020census.gov to start today! The public is welcome to telephone Census Questionnaire Assistance for support in multiple languages. Please find the telephone numbers here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/memo-series/2020-memo-2019_18.html .
Just over one year ago, I agreed to meet with a local census official to discuss how the Diocese of Orange might assist civil authorities to help ensure that an accurate count be taken of everyone living in the county. He asserted – and provided verifiable statistics to prove his point – that poorer and more ethnically diverse areas tended to be undercounted and, as a result, underfunded. I assured the official that the diocese would do its best to be not only supportive but proactive in promoting efforts to encourage everyone to participate in the census. The subject was discussed in depth at various Council of Priests meetings, deanery meetings, and even at the November 2019 Pastors and Business Managers gathering.
While I write this letter on behalf of Bishops Vann, Freyer and Nguyen, indeed strong support for Catholics’ involvement in the census comes also from Bishops Frank Dewane and Joe Vásquez, until recently-chairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on Migration, respectively, who stated:
“Our country conducts a Census every ten years to count the number of men, women and children residing in the United States. Census data helps direct more than $800 billion annually to key programs designed to advance the common good, strengthen families and reduce poverty. The Catholic Church and other service providers rely on the national Census to provide an accurate count in order to effectively serve those in need.”
“We urge for all people to be counted in the Census… Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed.”
As Catholics we affirm the inherent, divinely given dignity of every person. In answering the Census and encouraging our neighbors to do so too, we declare that “everyone counts” – que “todos contamos” – and that no one should be excluded from critical funding and political representation that everyone deserves.
This is not only a question of complying with the census count, funding, and community resources. It is also a way for us to get out into our communities and meet our neighbors, perhaps even inviting them to a Mass or other Church event. Because faith leaders and parishes are trusted messengers in our communities, we have the opportunity to play a key role in ensuring that everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. Pastors, business managers, and parishes have already received a Diocesan Census 2020 Action Calendar.
Earlier this year, a Census 2020 parish leader training was held at the Pastoral Center at Christ Cathedral with around 50 leaders representing around 15 parishes. I am grateful to all who participated and hope that every parish will be able to connect with the effort to ensure that we reach everyone in our communities.
Consider these easy steps that every parish can take:
- Be sure to appoint a Census 2020 lead to help your team to connect to the outreach efforts, sending the contact to Esther Ramirez, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the Office of Life, Justice, and Peace;
- Share information about Census 2020 at your parish throughout the months of February and March and Encourage people to fill out Census 2020 when they receive the mailer and it comes online;
- Plan to participate in Census 2020 Sunday, April 26 (special day to acknowledge/encourage participation)
As Bishop Vann wrote with respect to our new Diocesan Strategic Plan: Let us pray to be “set on fire” in a world that is so much in need, especially to those who are poor and marginalized and calling out to find the love of God around them.
And let’s make sure that everyone counts, todos contamos!
Rev. Msgr. Stephen S. Doktorczyk
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
Diocese of Orange in California
Parish Leader Information
Census 2020 Mission: Ensure that our local communities get their fair share of federal resources and Congressional representation by encouraging the full participation of all Catholics in Census 2020.
Click here to go directly to the Census 2020 page. The below are further key information for you to know.
- Spanish: Laura Lieras | US Census Bureau | (714) 914-8962 | email@example.com
- Spanish: Miguel Hernandez | OCCCO | (714) 470-8178
- Vietnamese: Michelle Do | US Census Bureau | (213) 300-4931 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vietnamese: Sr. Thuy Tran | Sisters of St. Joseph | (949) 706-4167
- Click here to view the U.S. Census Bureau toolkit with best practices and research-backed recommendations to reach and engage audiences around the country.
- Click here to view the Bilingual Digital Toolkit to ensure a full census count of Latinos amid COVID-19. This toolkit includes updated messaging, most recent operation modifications, and bilingual talking points, e-blast templates, and social media squares and template captions for your use.
What You Need to Know about Keeping Your Personal Information Safe:
- Backgrounder on Federal Information Sharing and Census 2020 (Click here to view in Spanish)
- Backgrounder on State Information Sharing and Census 2020 (Click here to view in Spanish)
Parish Action Plan:
- Check in with your Pastor about participating in Census Outreach
- Solicit a team of volunteers at your Church for Census Ministry
- Create an Action Plan
- Get the Action Plan approved by your Pastor & Business Manager
- Execute your Parish Action Plan
- Participate in Census Sunday with other Parishes throughout Orange County
Sample Census 2020 Action Plan:
Things to do at your parish-
- Insert a Census Flyer in your Parish Bulletin
- Distribute a flyer or coloring pages in Faith Formation classes
- Give a brief announcement or ask your Pastor to make an announcement about the Census at the end of Mass
- Pass out an “I Count” pledge card at the end of mass
- Set up an information booth in the Business Office
- Set up a table to provide information after Mass
- Present information with different ministries at your Parish
How you can conduct outreach
- Share posts on social media that is managed by your Church
- Send emails about the Census to parishioners
- Write articles about the Census with your local or ethnic community newspapers
- Visit apartment communities, senior centers, childcare centers in your area to talk to parishioners about the Census
What you can do on Census Sunday
- Pick something on your Action Plan to do on April 26th
- Host “free donuts” on Census Sunday
- Ask parishioners to wear “Census Sunday” buttons or name tags
Hard- To- Count Communities in OC
*The darker the color, the harder it is to conduct a complete count of residents.
Source: CA Census
To view many other Census 2020 videos, please click here.