By Julie Watts

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Have you opened your 2020 census questionnaire yet? It has already caused controversy with debate over questions about citizenship and sexuality.

Many local counties around the greater-Sacramento area are considered “hard to reach” by the Secretary of State, which could significantly impact local schools, homelessness, and your vote in the next election.

Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Yolo, El Dorado, and Yuba Counties are expected to go underreported due to large numbers of minorities, non-citizens, renters, and other groups who don’t generally respond. As a result, we’ve learned schools are at risk of losing some of the nearly $180 million in federal funding they rely on for things such as books, supplies, and food for low-income students.

Affordable housing could also be affected, along with funding for services from mental health to homelessness.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, this census will also be crucial for re-districting. For example, in Sacramento County, nearly 20% of Assemblyman McCarty’s district is expected to go uncounted along with more than 15% of voters in San Joaquin County’s largest assembly district and nearly 30% of Stanislaus voters in Senate District 12.

El Dorado County may also be impacted by redistricting due to underreported census numbers.

These are just some significant potential consequences, but this is the first census where people can respond online, so there is hope they may get responses.

Julie Watts


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