Ventura County Counts September Newsletter

Last Meeting Update

Please click here to access the materials from the August 27 Complete Count Committee meeting.
Be sure to join us at the next Ventura County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee meeting on
Wednesday, October 9 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at VCCF, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd in Camarillo.

Ventura County 2020 Census Implementation Planning Workshop Thursday, October 10, 4-8pm

We invite you to join us for the Ventura County 2020 Census Implementation Planning Workshop.
This workshop is critical as it will help create a shared understanding of Census priorities, approaches, strategies, roles and
responsibilities to ensure an accurate, complete and inclusive count of all Ventura County residents.
Thursday, October 10 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm
VCCF, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd in Camarillo.

New Census Volunteer Sign Up Tool

As mentioned in the August 27 Complete Count Committee meeting, Matter Labs (special thanks to them!) has developed a new online platform that will help us to better coordinate volunteer activities and share information. Please sign up today by clicking on the link below. Also, please share with everyone you know is interested in joining the Census outreach.

Committee Member Spotlights

Somos Vecinos. We Are neighbors. 

Zubi Ruth Olin , Partnership Specialist with the United States Census

Zubi Ruth Olin, Partnership Specialist with the United States Census will be aiding Ventura, Santa Barbara and SLO counties with regional outreach. Prior to working for the Federal Government, Zubi, a Cal Lutheran graduate worked for the Los Angeles Kings and LA Dodgers fundraising for their local foundations. Zubi and her fellow Partnership Specialists Ken Maryanski, Justine Fischer and Dianna Guevara are here to assist all CCC committee members with events, speaking engagements and planning meetings.

Throughout the year the team will be working with local school districts, businesses, non-profits and more to spread the word about the Census. Please reach out to Zubi and her fellow partnership specialists with any needs you have


Miguel Orozco, President of Nueva Vista Media, Inc.

Miguel started his career in Washington, DC on the Hill as a U.S. Senate staffer. He’s held various program analyst and management positions at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Chicago Job Corps Center and the National Office of Job Corps in Washington, DC.  Miguel obtained a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2019, Miguel Orozco received an MFA in creative writing from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

In 2007, Miguel launched Nueva Vista Media, a digital media company that develops

outreach strategies and multi-platform campaigns for diverse communities.  Nueva Vista Media has created local and national outreach campaigns for The California Endowment, the U.S. Dept. of Education, and a National Parent Engagement Campaign sponsored by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Ad Council.  In 2016, Miguel founded Ánimo Film + Theatre, a non-profit organization to produce films and plays to increase cultural awareness of diverse communities.  Recently, Miguel wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning short film “Mixteco Boy” (Ojai and Oaxaca Film Festivals), directed and produced the award-winning short documentary, American Migrant Stories, and produced and directed the theatre play, “El Bracero – A Mariachi Opera.”

Ben Suber, GIS Manager for Schmitz & Associates in Agoura Hills

Ben Suber, who is part of the Complete Count Committee, is the GIS Manager for Schmitz & Associates in Agoura Hills. A Tempe, Arizona native and an Eagle Scout, Ben earned a BS in Regional Development from the University of Arizona in 2009 and earned two Master’s Degrees, including an MPP from Pepperdine University in 2012 and an MS in GIS & Technology from USC in 2017. Ben joined the Complete Count Committee in August 2019 through the recommendation of Pepperdine University Davenport Institute Executive Director Ashley Labosier.

His GIS experience & enthusiasm will come in handy for the Complete Count Committee in instructing the public on how to use web maps for Census 2020, advise on demographic trends and even the use of GIS to pinpoint outreach opportunities for Hard-to-Count Census Tracts And Blocks.

Sub-Committee Highlights

Community Based Organizations & HHS
Cynder Sinclair, Community Action
Sonia Kroth, Co. of Ventura Human Services
Meetings: Last Monday of month, 10:00 a.m. VCCF: Founders
Conference Room
Business/Economic Groups
Rebecca Evans, Ventura County Workforce Development Board
Gary Cushing, Camarillo Chamber of Commerce
Meetings: Not established
Faith-Based Organizations
Susan Seale
Gloria Massey Chinea
 Meetings: Not established
Education & Outreach
Jack Hinojosa, Child Development Resources
Heather Cousin, City of Thousand Oaks
Meetings: 3rd Thursday of month
10 a.m. -12 p.m.
CDR: Conference Rooms A&B
Everybody Counts
Genevieve Flores-Haro, MICOP
Meetings: Established monthly
Government Coordination
Trevor Zierhut, Zierhut Consulting
Betsy Patterson, League of Women
Meetings: 2nd Thursday of month
3:30-5:00 p.m. Camarillo City Hall:
Central Conf. Rm.
PR, Marketing & Media Co-chair
Natalie Hernandez, County of Ventura
Meetings: Not established
Philanthropic Coordination
Claudia Armann
McCune Foundation
Meetings: Not established

Interested in joining a subcommittee? Please reach out by filling out the contact form below and select “Subcommittee.”

A Lot Riding on 2020 Census

On Sunday, Sept 15 the Ventura County Star published an editorial by Rebecca Evans and Vanessa Bechtel discussing that there’s “A lot riding on the 2020 Census.”
“Ventura County has a population of about 850,000. An estimated 251,000 are at risk of not being counted. Out of the over 3,000 counties in the U.S., Ventura County ranks as 59th most at-risk of an undercount in the 2020 Census. Close to $2 billion or more in funding for our community over the next 10 years is projected to be lost due to an undercount — that is, if we fail to take action as a community…” 
Read the full article below.

Why the 2020 Census is Good for Latino Small Business

The Latino Community Foundation recently released an important blog on how Latino small-business owners can ensure an accurate count in the #2020Census. 

Census Discussions in the Community

If you would like to request a presentation, please reach out by filling out the contact form below and select “Request a Speaker.”

Now Hiring Regional Technician 

Now Hiring Regional Technician 
Salary Range $47,797 to $110,224 per year

Open to residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura, or San Luis Obisbo Counties


HOW TO APPLY: To apply on-line, you must complete and apply through the USAJOBS website using the link below. To begin, click the “Apply” button and follow the prompts to either create a profile or sign-in to your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.



The U.S. Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Los Angeles Regional Census Center Recruiting Team
U.S. Census Bureau Los Angeles Regional Census Center
Office 213.314.6502  Toll free:  1.855.314.6664

Now Hiring Census Field Manager – Camarillo, CA

Now Hiring Census Field Manager – Camarillo, CA

Salary Range $25.00 per hour


HOW TO APPLY: To apply on-line, you must complete and apply through the USAJOBS website using the link below. To begin, click the “Apply” button and follow the prompts to either create a profile or sign-in to your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.



The U.S. Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Los Angeles Regional Census Center Recruiting Team
U.S. Census Bureau Los Angeles Regional Census Center
Office 213.314.6502  Toll free:  1.855.314.6664

Speaker stresses importance of census


Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau rolls out a survey to collect general data about residents in the country.

A local leader says that some people may not realize that if they don’t complete the survey it can mean a loss of federal funding to pay for medical, educational and housing programs, as well as some public improvements.

“It is absolutely the most pressing issue facing our community right now,” said Vanessa Bechtel, president and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

“If we don’t get it right next year, it will have generational consequences that will play out until all of us are dead.”

Bechtel’s words at a Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon on July 16 underscore how critical it is that the number of residents in the county be correctly calculated in the 2020 United States census.

The census collects general data about the number of individuals who live in the United States. Everyone needs to be counted, Bechtel said, because the results determine how and where more than $675 billion in federal tax dollars is distributed and spent each year.

For each uncounted resident, the county they live in could lose up to $2,000 annually in social safety services for the next 10 years, Bechtel said.

Locally, the census determines where retail stores, schools, hospitals and new housing developments might be needed.

Job training programs, rural and industry development loans, transportation, water safety and policing could all be negatively affected by an undercount, Bechtel said.

The survey data decides how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. As of the 2010 census, Congressional districts averaged about 700,000 constituents each.

If there is a significant undercount in California, seats could be lost, Bechtel said.

According to the foundation, out of more than 3,000 counties in the nation, Ventura County is ranked 59th most at risk of a census undercount.

Risk factors include language barriers, noncitizen status and, now that the census has a digital option, areas without internet access.

Bechtel said the best way to prevent an undercount is by raising awareness and educating others.

“When you’re at the dentist, talk about the census; when you’re at school, talk about it,” she said.

Starting in March 2020, households will receive in the mail a notice to fill out the survey via internet, mail or phone. Questions in the packet will ask about age, sex, race and other information regarding household members.

By law, every household must answer the survey. Not filling it out could result in a fine, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It’s important for people to include everyone in the family, including children, Bechtel said in a later interview with the Acorn.

She also said the census should not be politicized.

“The question as to whether someone is a citizen or not is a barrier to an accurate and complete count, and it’s helping to fuel a culture of fear, especially within our immigrant communities and our neighbors,” Bechtel said.

The goal is to get an accurate count, she said.

“There is a concentrated effort to try to politicize the census, but (every person being counted in the census) has been a constitutional right since 1790,” she said in the phone interview.

Kathi Van Etten, president and CEO of the Simi Valley Chamber, said she invited Bechtel to speak about the census because “Ventura County is so at risk of an undercount and so much depends on getting an accurate count.”

“The Chamber was a great place to have that (presentation) so we could let our businesses and community know” about the risks of an undercount, Van Etten said.

In an interview with the Acorn in 2010, Herbert Gooch, California Lutheran University political science professor, said the census is vital because it helps activate political change and mend imbalances between rich and poor communities.

“It gives a socioeconomic clue to the differences and the needs of different groups within the county, and that in turn gives us important political clues as to the future of the county,” Gooch said.

For more information about the upcoming census, visit

Ventura County Counts July Newsletter

"Somos Vecinos": A Message from our Region 5 Coordinator, Dr. Gabino Aguirre
(Pictured here with Director of the California Complete Count Office, Ditas Katague)

Friends and Community Members, 
Thank you for your time and efforts thus far in helping us ensure a complete and accurate count of Ventura County residents in 2020! Our outreach plan includes encouraging individuals to participate in the census through a neighbor-to-neighbor strategy, or “Somos Vecinos” (We Are Neighbors). In many societies, “vecino” is a term that refers to a particular residential relationship but also encapsulates the notion of personal familiarity social connection. This strategy will be operationalized by local trusted messengers from hard-to-count populations and geographic areas. 
The concept behind this strategy includes not only the notion of “residential ”vecinos”, i.e. individuals and families living next door to each other, but also “social” neighbors which incorporates other both formal and informal social networks that hard-to-count individuals regularly engage in and trust. Community members will be contacted in environments where they feel safe: their churches and faith communities, in homes and personal social environments, and at neighborhood businesses. “Somos Vecinos” also includes individuals who are “digital neighbors” utilizing social media platforms for connection and communication purposes.
With the 2020 Census count fast approaching, we hope that you will keep the “Somos Vecinos” strategy and spirit top of mind. We at Ventura County Community Foundation believe that the task at hand is a intersectional, bipartisan issue and that we have the opportunity to come together as a strong, unified community. We all have a vested interested to be sure everyone is counted, to ensure a thriving and healthy Ventura County.
I count. You count. We ALL count.
¡Somos Vecinos!
-Dr. Gabino Aguirre, Region 5 Coordinator

Meet Our Members

Jack Hinojosa and Heather Cousin, Co-chairs of the Education Sub-committee

Jack Hinojosa is the Chief Executive Officer of Child Development Resources (CDR) of Ventura County, Inc. The mission of CDR, is to provide the foundation to build promising futures for children. CDR collaborates with parents and the community to deliver high-quality programs that enrich lives.

Since the formation of the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Taskforce Jack Hinojosa has served as Co-Chair of the Education & Outreach Subcommittee, along with Heather Cousin, Library Services Director, City of Thousand Oaks, to facilitate census awareness for local schools from prekindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as postsecondary education, community college and university institutions in Ventura County.”

Rosario Castañeda, Member representing Lideres Campesinas

Organización en California de Líderes Campesinas, Inc represents a culmination of decades of work by farm working women (Campesinas). Farmworker women have been the leaders of many grassroots and mobilizing efforts to improve the lives of farmworker communities. Líderes Campesinas provides these long-time leaders and activists with the opportunity to coordinate their work statewide and has built collectives so that Campesinas may become agents of change and be a more effective unified voice.

Mi nombre es Rosario Castañeda y soy Miembra Delegada de la Organización en California Líderes Campesias de California desde hace más de cuatro años.
Nuestra organización lleva treinta años trabajando con la comunidad campesina e indígena. Trabajamos en crear educación, prevención y concientización de los diferentes tipos de abuso y promover la capacitación a las agencias de temas relevantes de la comunidad campesina. Apoyamos el enforzar leyes, vigilias, marchas y educación por medio de arte. Esto ayuda a las sobrevivientes en la resiliencia y en procesar el impacto del trauma.

Me involucré en el censo por que tengo interés que seamos contados para que nuestros jóvenes y niñas tengan una buena educación porque ellos son el presente y el futuro. Todos como seres humanos tenemos derechos a ser contados. Queremos que nuestras voces se escuchen.

Sub-Committee Updates

All subcommittees continue to meet as we await the hiring of a media consultant who will develop state-sanctioned materials and resources. These will be made available to us and we will be localizing/customizing for maximum relevance and impact. A great tool available to subcommittees is the survey document developed and being distributed by the HHS/CBO Sub-Committee.

Region 5 Updates

  • All Region 5 counties (Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz) have organized their Complete Count Committees and are scheduling workshops for developing their Implementation Plans.
  • Training is being scheduled on the SwORD and PDI outreach and reporting software.
  • Our Region 5 Coordinator, Dr. Gabino Aguirre, has been traveling to other counties in the region to assist with coordination and census presentations.  

Strategic Plan

The Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) was selected by the State of California to be the Administrative Community Based Organization (ACBO) for Region 5. Region 5 includes the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and San Benito. These documents outline the strategic plan that was put forth by VCCF and was accepted by the State of California.

2020 Census Undercount Concerns Voiced at Roundtable


California Attorney General Xavier Becerra j with Santa Barbara County Assistant CEO Dennis Bozanich and Ventura County Community Foundation CEO Vanessa Bechtel talk with media after having a meeting on the 2020 Census.

This piece was originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent, and can be found here. 

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are the 58th and 59th counties most at risk of a census undercount in the nation, said president and CEO of Ventura County Community Foundation Vanessa Bechtel at a roundtable meeting with Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Becerra met with Santa Barbara and Ventura County Census committees on June 20 at the Santa Barbara Foundation to discuss initiatives underway to ensure every single person in the counties fills out a census. The Complete Count committees formed the complete count in part as a response to the citizenship question that is being proposed for the 2020 census and that the Supreme Court is slated to decide any day now.

Dependent on the Supreme Court’s decision is a question asking whether the individuals in a household are citizens may be added to the 2020 census. The possibility has local and state officials fearful that undocumented community members or mixed-status families may avoid filling it out, leading to an undercount.

In Santa Barbara, approximately 15 percent of the population is undocumented, one of the highest percentages statewide. If this population is not counted, Santa Barbara would lose out on roughly $126 million a year in funding, every year for the next 10 years. About 21,000 other individuals, roughly 5 percent of the county’s population, are deemed “hard to count” for other reasons, including being a racial or ethnic minority, homeless, a college student, elderly, or a young child. This 5 percent counts for $43 million in funding each year until the next census.

During the roundtable, local officials talked about initiatives already underway and brainstormed ideas to get everyone counted. Cochair of the Santa Barbara Committee and Santa Barbara Foundation Grant Writing Director Pedro Paz talked about expanding the number of trusted partners working with the counties to get community members to fill out the census. Gabino Aguirre with Ventura County Counts suggested flooding the media with “know your rights” messages and countering negative messages that may dissuade community members from filling it out.

There are concerns from undocumented folks that answering the citizenship question on the census could later be used to deport them. California State University Channel Islands Professor Chris Williamson, who teaches a demography course with a focus on the 2020 census, clarified that even if folks decide to skip the citizenship question on the census, they will still be counted. He also said it’s not likely that census workers will go knocking on doors of folks who do not answer that question. “They’re more concerned with nonresponse addresses,” he said. Becerra emphasized that it is against the law for the federal government to use census information against an individual or to share the information with other federal agencies.

The census count determines everything from local funding of law enforcement and social services to the number of state representatives in Congress. An undercount puts both of those in jeopardy and will have generational consequences, said Bechtel. To aid in the efforts for a complete county, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties received $500,000 and $700,000, respectively, from the state, and there’s a possibility of additional funds, said Dennis Bozanich, cochair of the Santa Barbara Complete Count Committee and Deputy CEO for the County of Santa Barbara.

With only one chance to get it right, the state is committed to supporting local communities and partnering with them to get the message out, said Becerra. “We’re paying taxes but won’t get back our tax dollars if everyone’s not counted,” he added. “We are going to continue to do everything we believe is necessary to make sure we protect our people and our state and to get back our tax dollars.”

Now Hiring Census Field Manager – Camarillo, CA

Now Hiring Census Field Manager – Camarillo, CA

Application Deadline:  June 14, 2019

SALARY RANGE: AD-0301-00:  $25.00 per hour

HOW TO APPLY: To apply online, you must complete and submit an application through the USAJOBS website using the job announcement link in the attached flyer. To begin, click the “Apply” button and follow the prompts to either create a profile or sign into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of the announcement.

If you have any questions, please contact recruiting at (855) 314-6664. Or, visit our website 


Census Bureau Regional Offices conduct continuous surveys—other than the once-a-decade population count—to supply the nation with important statistics on people, places and our economy.


The U.S. Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Los Angeles Regional Census Center Recruiting Team
U.S. Census Bureau Los Angeles Regional Census Center
Office 213.314.6502  Toll free:  1.855.314.6664

Census outreach organizers fear missing
people and dollars in Ventura County

This article was originally published on VC Star and can be found here. 

Organizers are trying to raise more than $1 million and mount a major campaign to reach Ventura County residents likely to be missed in next year’s federal census.

“It is going to take all hands on deck,” said Mike Pettit, an assistant county executive officer who is working on the effort.

The county ranks among the top 2 percent of a little over 3,000 counties in the nation most at risk for being undercounted, according to a state study. That’s not only because of income, educational and geographic barriers, but also because many people lack internet access for the survey that is being conducted largely online, organizers said.

Each uncounted person represents an estimated loss of $2,000 annually for 10 years, said Vanessa Bechtel, CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation. If more than 100,000 people are missed, that represents a loss of billions of dollars for health care, social services, law enforcement, business loans, water systems, transportation and other services, she said.

Statewide, the census count also dictates how many seats California gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bechtel and Pettit said strong efforts are underway to get a complete count.

City and county governments, nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations are being asked for funding to supplement state grants that local officials say will only partially cover the cost of the outreach campaign. Scores of organizations have joined a committee that is trying to turn out a complete count, Bechtel said.

“We have a huge complete count committee with over 100 participants from government, business, nonprofits and libraries,” Bechtel said.

Early this month, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors decided to support the outreach effort, allowing the county to receive $288,754 in state funding. Ventura and other participating counties must prepare plans showing how they will conduct the outreach effort, complete written reports and collaborate with state officials.

Pettit plans to return to the board with a budget proposal for county funding of the endeavor in March. The census date is a little more than a year away on April 1, 2020.

Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett has called the state funding “woefully inadequate” for the task ahead. The amounts the county and cities will be contributing is not yet known.

Areas with a high likelihood of being undercounted include south and central Oxnard, a large area northeast of Ventura along Highway 33, Santa Paula, Fillmore, CSU Channel Islands and Newbury Park.

The high-risk areas are characterized by factors that have been linked with low counts in past censuses, according to state data. Included are neighborhoods with crowded, rented and multi-unit housing, numerous families with children under age 5 and homes with low levels of education and relatively high use of public assistance.

Residents of certain neighborhoods in Oxnard and Santa Paula lack the computer technology that will allow them to respond to the census online, Bechtel said. The figure reaches 40 percent in some neighborhoods in Oxnard, she said.

Still unknown is whether the census will include a question asking respondents if they are citizens of the United States, which critics fear would depress participation by immigrant communities. The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether the Trump administration may add the question.

Volunteers interested in working on the complete count effort may email Bechtel at