The Center at Sierra Health Foundation is one of 10 regional organizations selected to administer Census 2020 outreach for hard-to-count communities

March 13th, 2019

The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office announced contracts with the 10 regional administrative community-based organizations it will fund to ensure an accurate tally of all Californians in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Census.

As the selected contractor for Region 6 (Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties), The Center at Sierra Health Foundation will build on its significant census work in the San Joaquin Valley and leverage its experience as the managing partner and hub for the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, a community-driven network of nearly 100 community-based and grassroots organizations and 18 funder partners working to advance health and equity across the San Joaquin Valley.

Established in 2012, with offices in Sacramento and Fresno, The Center has raised more than $10 million since the Fund’s founding in 2014 to support San Joaquin Valley nonprofit organizations advocating on issues including immigration, housing, health, education, environmental justice and land use planning, and a fair and complete Census 2020. On March 6, The Center brought more than 2,000 San Joaquin Valley residents to the Capitol for the annual Equity on the Mall, to be heard by and work with local and state elected officials on a community-developed policy platform comprised of these issue areas.

In the last year, The Center has raised nearly $900,000 in philanthropic investments to support Valley community partners' engagement in census research, capacity building, strategic engagement, and advocacy. Three significant San Joaquin Valley Health Fund census research reports have been published and widely disseminated regarding the challenges and barriers to a complete census count in the Valley, including the likely impact of the proposed citizenship question on participation in the census.

“An accurate census count impacts not only political representation and funding for necessary local and regional social services, but the community power to generate change, shape the future, resist harmful policies and maintain hope,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of The Center at Sierra Health Foundation. “We are proud to support and bring together our community partners, who have the expertise and trusted community relationships for effective outreach to strengthen and empower the San Joaquin Valley and its residents.”

Community partners engaged in the regional census project include: Building Healthy Communities – South Kern; California Rural Legal Assistance; Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment; Central California Environmental Justice Network; Centro Binacional para el Desarrolo Indigena; Communities for a New California; Community Water Center; Dolores Huerta Foundation; Faith in the Valley; The Fresno Center; Fresno County Census 2020 Rural Communities Collaborative; Hmong Innovating Politics; The Jakara Movement; Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability; and Radio Bilingue.

“Organizing grassroots volunteers at the neighborhood level who are trusted messengers in their communities will ensure that every Californian will understand their own worth and the impact of their participation in the Census for their visions of the future,” said Dolores Huerta, civil rights advocate and president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

About the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund: The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund is managed by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and provides funding support for nearly 100 community partners from 18 state and national funders committed to the San Joaquin Valley: Sierra Health Foundation, The California Endowment, Rosenberg Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Dignity Health, Tides, Hellman Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Convergence Partnership, Health Net, The Grove Foundation, Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund, New Venture Fund, Sunlight Giving and Heising-Simons Foundation. Learn more.

The San Joaquin Valley Census Research Project is made possible with support from Sierra Health Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Hellman Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Grove Foundation, Werner-Kohnstamm Family Giving Fund, New Venture Fund, Sunlight Giving and Heising-Simons Foundation. Read Project reports on community voice and barriers to a complete count on the San Joaquin Valley Census Research Project web page.