FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2000
Contact: Diane Thomas
County Leads Census
Outreach Complete Count Committee
(Santa Ana) - Four
working meetings are planned this month for the County-led
Census 2000 Complete Count committee. "Our estimates
show that a 1990 census undercount of nearly 51,000 OC
residents has cost Orange County approximately $7.6 million
per year since that time," said Chuck V. Smith, Chairman
of the Board of Supervisors. "It's important that
we provide the leadership necessary to work with the Census
Bureau and our community partners to get an accurate count
in the upcoming census."
The ongoing meetings of the working groups are designed
to develop ways to increase the public's understanding
of the need for a complete and accurate count and, thereby,
increase participation. "We're working from both
sides of the issue," said Paul Lanning, Redevelopment
Program Manager in CEO/Strategic and Intergovernmental
Relations. "First, we're working with a variety of
groups to develop better methods of reaching out to certain
segments of the countywide community that are historically
underrepresented in the national census. On the flip side,
our working groups are providing input to the Census Bureau
to help them better understand Orange County's communities
and help them connect with local leaders who can support
Working Group Meetings
Housing/Homeless2 p.m., January 6Hall of Administration
Fifth Floor, Conference Room A
Community-based 4 p.m., January 10HOA Fifth Floor, Conference
Organizations & Education
Government9 a.m., January 13HOA Fifth Floor, Conference
Business & Media2 p.m., January 13HOA Fifth Floor,
Conference Room A
Meetings are open to the public. Parking will be validated
for the lot at Santa Ana Blvd. and Ross St.
Participants in the working groups include the U.S. Census
Bureau; Board of Supervisors offices; County agencies
including CEO Homeless Coordinator, Social Services Agency,
Health Care Agency, and Housing and Community Development;
and cities including Santa Ana, San Juan Capistrano, Orange,
Cypress, Anaheim, Laguna Beach, Brea, Costa Mesa, Tustin,
Fullerton and Garden Grove.
Representatives are also active on the committee from
the offices of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman
Ed Royce, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Senator Joseph
Dunn and Assemblymen Bill Campbell, Dick Ackerman, Patricia
Bates and Scott Baugh.
Other groups participating in the working groups are the
Orange County Business Council, Orange County Transportation
Authority, Orange County Community Development Council,
La Familia, Catholic Charities of Orange County, City
of Laguna Beach Friendship Shelter Cross-Cultural Task
Force, InfoLink of Orange County and the Orange County
"A complete count means opportunities that can be
made available to individuals in our community,"
said Isabel Melloni, Project Director for La Familia.
"If we get a less than accurate count, the county
receives reduced funding and we have more limited abilities
to empower our community. I encourage everyone to participate
in the Census so Orange County can be fully represented
and receive the benefits that can be ours through full
The information campaign will begin in March and lead
up to the April 1 Census Day when forms are to be returned.
"Besides the funding aspect of Census results, that
information can also affect your representation in Congress,"
said Lanning. "Census data is used to determine the
number of Congressional seats allocated, and it's used
to re-draw districts for State Senate and Assembly members
and the Board of Supervisors."
Lanning also pointed out that the demographic data collected
is used by businesses and others to make decisions such
as defining needed community services, the siting of a
corporate headquarters or what kind of fast food restaurant
might be located in your neighborhood. "Demographics
are like the foundation of a building. You dont
see it, but its there to hold everything up,"
said Lanning. "It's been said that demographics are
"The Census Bureau is pleased that this cross-section
of our community is participating in promoting the Census,"
said Armando Ramirez, Orange County Partnership Specialist
for the U.S. Census Bureau. "The Census is critically
important for accurate representation, fair distribution
of federal resources, and respect from our federal government
for all groups in our communities. Because of these things,
it is our shared responsibility to be proactive and participate
in this notable event."