Local election

State of Black Pasadena: The Power of Black Votes, Full of Information

Posted February 26, 2020
By Teanna Ross

Patrice Marshall Mckenzie is already doing the job she is looking to be voted into this election cycle and last night she shined.

Patrice moderated the 2020 State of Black Pasadena hosted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Pasadena/Altadena Chapter.

At the top of the hour Dana Carroll was introduced, she is a Partnership Specialist to the U.S. Census Bureau of L.A. County. Dana discussed the history of the census and why the 2020 census is important and how participating can affect change in our local communities.

The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 2. 

Census results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

The census results also determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.

Throughout Black and Brown communities the census can be viewed as something bad, and/or to avoid, but we must keep in mind that:

There is power in representation.

The census determines the re-appointment of Congressional seats and redistricting of legislative boundaries.

AND most importantly determines how more than $675 Billion are distributed annually; but the funding is distributed based on population.

The 2020 Census is important now more than ever as the State of California could lose a congressional district following the 2020 census count for the first time in history.

According to the census data approximately 203,000 people left the state as a result of the states shifting migration and the cost of living. Where the seat will be lost hasn't been determined but it is dependent upon which communities are larger or smaller compared to census numbers from the 2010 count.

The census' uses a tool called The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application that was developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates available in the Planning Database. Learning about each hard-to-survey area allows the U.S. Census Bureau to create a tailored communication and partnership campaign, and to plan for field resources including hiring staff with language skills. 

After using this tool, inputting several Northwest Pasadena zip codes and viewing several census tracts it is evident that the Black and Brown neighborhoods within Pasadena have a very high - low response rate when it comes to completing the census questionnaire, this affects our representation and federal funding for 10 years. For individuals not counted that results in about $20,000 per person over the course of 10 years. It was said that 1.7 million individuals within our local communities were unaccounted for. You do the math on that.

​Completing the census this year will determine federal funding for education, safety, housing, and healthcare. Which are all growing community concerns.

Please keep in mind that all responses are used for statistical data and will remain confidential. You will not be penalized in any way for your response.

Households will receive a letter of participation in the mail between March 12th - 20th with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. 

​April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.

I know a lot of people have the mindset that they will not participate in the census or vote but keep in mind the future effects this could have on your own household and our community. Our participation and votes matter, if they didn't there would never be effort to try to suppress it. Take a stand this year and be counted!

Go to www.2020census.gov to learn more about the process and what to expect.

Also note that early voting began on February 22nd and will be available through 8pm on Election Day, March 3.

Voters in L.A. County now have 11 consecutive days to vote in-person at ANY Vote Center in the County.

Get more information and find a voting location close to you by going to: www.lavote.net.

Click the link below to view and watch the 2020 State of Black Pasadena: The Power of Black Votes

View Video Here​