The California Black Census and Redistricting Hub is a network of over 30 Black-led and Black-serving organizations across the state focused on maximizing participation in the upcoming census and redistricting process among hard to count Black communities. Using a mix of training, strategic communications, data, grassroots organizing and community engagement, the Hub will prepare its network of organizations to conduct targeted and tailored field outreach campaigns to educate, motivate and activate the voices of thousands of Black Californians throughout the census and redistricting process.
Recent surveys have found that African Americans and Black immigrants are among the highest groups at risk of a full and accurate count in California.
California has the 5th largest Black population in the United States with 3,011,021 African Americans making up 8% of the state total. Gentrification has sparked waves of displacement and homelessness across California, disproportionately impacting Black communities, pushing many into the streets or out of urban centers like Oakland and Los Angeles, and into new regions, like East Contra Costa, Inland Empire and Central Valley, which often lack civic infrastructure and resources to support a full Census Count. Mass incarceration in Black communities has led to drastic overrepresentation of African Americans in California’s prison population, 29% compared to being only 6.5% of California’s total population. This not only makes group counts necessary, but also makes the engagement and education of newly returning community members key, who are more vulnerable to economic and housing and instability and a general lack of information about the Census.
These factors combined with a growing distrust in government and limited access to the internet, particularly among seniors, require tailored outreach strategies to ensure a full count of Black Californians in the 2020 Census.
The Hub will also engage in planning and advocacy in the Redistricting Process to ensure the voice and representation of Black Californians is strengthened.
The Black Census and Redistricting Hub is a project of California Calls, and builds off the 3 year African American Civic Engagement Project.
The Core Partners serve as a steering committee of institutional thought partners helping to guide the Hub’s strategic and operational direction and include California Calls, Advancement Project—California, Black PAC, PICO California, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church – Social Action Commission.
Black Hub Coalition Members are Black-led or Black-serving organizations that will conduct outreach to engage historically undercounted black communities in the census and redistricting process. Coalition Members are recruited based on their reach and influence within their communities as well as their direct work within key historically undercounted Black communities.
Sacramento ACT, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Sacramento
Building Blocks for Kids, Safe Return Project, Oakland Rising, RYSE, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Contra Costa, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA)
Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, Fresno Metro Black Chamber/Fresno County Complete Count Committee, Central Valley Urban Institute, Fresno Street Saints, African American Network of Kern County, Inc.
San Bernardino and Riverside:
Time for Change, BLU Educational Foundation, Starting Over, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE)
Long Beach Black Infant Health, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Black Women for Wellness, Kingdom Life Church, Los Angeles Community Action Network, A New Way of Life, The Community Action League, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Community Coalition, Los Angeles Black Workers Center, Social Justice Learning Institute, Special Needs Network, AME Church – 5th District.
Pillars of the Community, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), Alliance San Diego
California Black Women’s Health Project, Initiate Justice, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, AME Ministerial Alliance.
Check below to learn more about the California Black Census & Redistricting Hub and how you can get involved:
If you’re an organization interested in joining the Hub:
Kevin Cosney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you’re an elected official or other civic leader interested in supporting the Hub:
Kaci Patterson (email@example.com)
For communications or media inquiries:
Lanae Norwood at press@myBlackCounts.org
On October 15, Schools and Communities First, a powerful statewide coalition of nearly 300 endorsing community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials, announced the official qualification of the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act for the November 2020 ballot. This will be the first commercial property tax reform initiative to qualify for the ballot in 40 years since Prop 13 passed in 1978.
“Californians now have the opportunity to reform a 40-year injustice,” said Helen Hutchison, President of the League of Women Voters of California. “Representing organizations from every corner of the state, our grassroots coalition has made history. After five years of planning and strategizing, we have qualified a split roll initiative for the ballot–an achievement once thought impossible. In 2020, California voters can create a new future by investing in our people and our local communities.”
On August 14, simultaneous press conferences were held in 5 different cities across the state to announce the submission of 856,648 signatures in support of the measure, which needed 585,407 valid signatures to qualify. October 15 was the deadline for California’s 58 Counties to complete a random sample count, and today the Secretary of State announced qualification of the measure due to an exceptionally high verification rate. Due to a large scale and sophisticated statewide volunteer signature gathering program expertly planned and executed by the coalition, the measure has qualified for the November 2020 general election via the random sample process instead of a full count. This is a significant achievement as more than 90 organizations and thousands of volunteers collaborated to ensure enough signatures were submitted to nearly guarantee qualification on the 2020 ballot in the most populous state in America.
Over the last 40 years, California has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, leading to chronic underfunding of schools, services, and local communities along with poor local land use decisions, and a spiraling housing crisis. Schools and Communities First is the first structural and equitable tax reform in four decades. It will reclaim over $11 billion for schools and local communities, shaping a new legacy of investment in the people of California.
If passed, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would close the millionaire and billionaire corporate tax loophole in Prop 13 by requiring all commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at fair market value, putting California on par with how the vast majority of the country assesses commercial property. The measure will reclaim $11 billion every year, roughly half allocated for K-12 schools and community colleges, and the remaining allocated to counties and cities according to current property tax guidelines. The measure maintains Prop 13’s current protections for homeowners, renters and agriculture, and includes small business tax relief and oversight and accountability.
The case for split roll reform has been bolstered recently with the publishing of a peer-reviewed study by Dr. Chris Benner of UC Santa Cruz. His research found that passing a split roll reform measure in California would strengthen the economy, debunking a faulty 2012 Pepperdine study that claimed Prop 13 reform would lead to job loss. In addition, major endorsements from elected officials like State Senator Connie Leyva, and a unanimous vote of support from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in California and second largest in the nation, have helped compound recent momentum around the initiative.
Now that the initiative has qualified early, the Schools and Communities First Coalition will spend the next two years expanding the coalition, building public support, and raising the needed resources to counter the opposition’s misinformation campaign, which has already begun.