Valley residents! Here's why you should fill out the 2020 census survey

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California is ramping up for the next federal census.

Beginning next week, families will get information in the mail on how to fill out the survey.

An accurate count is used to assign the number of seats each state has in the US House of Representatives.

Census figures also help determine how much funding state and local governments receive from the federal government, so inaccurate count could cost California money.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra made a special stop in the Central Valley Friday.

Becerra was in downtown Fresno to help get the word out about the upcoming census survey and how an accurate count can help local families.

"I'm asking every Californian to please fill out that form. When that census form arrives please fill it out," said Becerra.

Families should receive notices in the mail by March 12 and for the first time, the government will try to collect most responses online.

California is spending nearly $200 million in the census to make sure it gets its full share of congressional seats and federal money.

So what happens if the state does not get an accurate count?

"Your kids may go to schools that are more crowded with more kids because they get less funding. Your streets may not be paved as often because the city will not have the funds to repair the streets," said Becerra.

California receives more than $100 billion every year from the federal government based on census survey results.

San Joaquin Valley, though, is vulnerable to an undercount because of its large immigrant population and other hard-to-reach people.

"Your information is private. That information is not shared by the Census Bureau with other federal agencies including ICE and border patrol," said Becerra.

You should also start seeing Census Bureau volunteers in your neighborhood.

These officials will never ask for personal information like your social security number, banking info or driver's license.
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