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Why a Census Undercount in 2020 is Bad for Business—And How Your Company Can Respond

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
11:30am - 2:00pm PDT
The California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities, Redwood Room
1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
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Registration for this program is closed. Please email Jessica LeTarte at [email protected] if you would like to attend.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau is constitutionally mandated to count every person in the nation—from infants to the elderly—regardless of language spoken, citizenship status, or housing. The next census will be conducted in 2020. Census data is the basis for allocating federal funding and political representation across the country. Businesses are more dependent on Census data than any other sector. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, and businesses rely on this information for economic development, business decisions, and strategic planning. In addition, companies use data derived from the Census to guide community development, operational decisions, and investment of resources. Specifically, census data helps identify potential customers and employees, business locations, where to target advertising (and which languages to use), and what should be offered in different communities. An undercount of historically hard-to-count communities such as children (between ages 0-4), urban and rural low-income households, limited English proficient, immigrant families are likely to undervalue community development opportunities. . An undercount risks California losing up to $70 billion dollars in resources for the State. 

Join us for a robust discussion on how securing a complete count for the 2020 Census is important for business, customers, and the community—and how your company can help to encourage hard-to-count communities to participate in the 2020 Census. We will hear from the California Census Complete Count Committee and cross-sector experts on how we can collectively ensure all of California is counted.

During the session speakers will share: 

  • Overview of the census; why accurate data is imperative and the impact of an undercount on business and the state as a whole.
  • Which demographic segments are most at risk of being undercounted and why.
  • How your company and employees can support the 2020 Census through internal and external communications, PR, and marketing efforts.
  • What other actions you can take through your company’s philanthropy and CSR efforts to support a complete count in at-risk communities.

We encourage you to share this invitation with colleagues in your organization who should be aware of this issue, particularly in your business strategy, research, communications, marketing, government relations, HR, and operations departments.



Susan A. Bonilla
California Director Council for a Strong America

Susan Bonilla joined Council for a Strong America (CSA) in 2017, bringing over 20 years of education and policy experience to the organization.  CSA is a  nonprofit made up of over 9,000 business executives, law enforcement leaders, and retired generals and admirals, who form a powerful network  promoting evidence based health and education solutions for children. Our 400 hundred members in California advocate and educate at the local and state level to achieve equity and opportunity for all children in our state.  CSA has a long track record of achieving positive policy outcomes and systems change with the unique and unexpected voices of our members. With her national team, Susan has mobilized ReadyNation business executives launching a National Business Council to communicate the need for additional federal funding for the 2020 census and has established a National Business Network for an Accurate Census to share census information and strategies for businesses to help reach a complete count.

Adriana Martinez
Deputy Director of Outreach
California Census 2020 Complete Count

Adriana Martinez serves as the Deputy Director of Outreach for the Census 2020 California Complete Count Campaign in the Governor’s Office of Operations. Prior to her appointment, Adriana was Director of External Affairs-Statewide Relations, as well as Director of Public Affairs-Southern California, from 2011-2018 at AT&T, during which she designed and launched various impactful programs for the company across California. Previously, Adriana was President of Adriana Martinez Group, LLC, a consulting practice she founded to provide government, community and public affairs services to various clients, with a focus on economic development projects in under-resourced communities.

Adriana’s professional career over the past 26 years spans every sector, with a focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, and strategic management. Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2007, Adriana served as Assistant Deputy Mayor of Economic Development for Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, as well as Economic Policy Director for Mayor James K. Hahn, in the City of Los Angeles. In 2000, she served as Governor Davis’ bilingual Spokesperson and Media Director for the CA Census Undercount Campaign.  Adriana began her career in Washington, D.C. as Policy Advisor to Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard before transitioning to the small business and non-profit sectors. During her time in our nation’s capitol, Adriana founded the region’s first traditional Mexican folklorico dance company and children’s program.

Adriana earned an MBA from the Anderson School/UCLA and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University She is also a graduate of the CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs/San Francisco and has two certificates from El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City.  Adriana is from Boyle Heights.

Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg
Public Private Strategies 

Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg has 14 years of government relations and public affairs experience. This includes working with private companies, membership organizations, state government, local municipalities, and facilitating public-private partnerships. At Public Private Strategies, she directs and manages high level strategy for the firms clients.

Formerly, as the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed, Katie led the association’s federal advocacy and public affairs strategy in representing the 27 million self-employed. Since 2012, Katie has used her vast network and public policy experience to build an advocacy strategy rooted in building collaborative, dynamic coalitions and partnerships to advance NASE’s legislative priorities.

Previous experience includes, developing and implementing the advocacy strategy for WorldatWork, the largest association for human resources professionals. She was instrumental in leveraging the association’s voice during the final rulemaking of many key Dodd-Frank provisions, effectively influencing the regulatory process to achieve the goals and priorities of the association. As a member of Governor Rick Perry’s Federal Relations team, Katie coordinated and developed federal legislative strategies for the 2nd largest state. Her portfolio included internet sales tax, hurricane recovery, immigration, and housing. Katie coordinated and led a multi-faceted team of state elected officials, congressional members, and other stakeholders, in securing $1.3 billion in community development block grants to aid in the State’s recovery from Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Dolly.

Katie also worked closely with the Texas Delegation to protect the Johnson Space Center from significant budgetary cuts. Katie has state and national campaign experience having consulted on several congressional and presidential campaigns, including McCain-Palin ‘08, Rick Perry for President, and Romney-Ryan ‘12.


More speakers to be added!



SCG members: No cost to participate. Guests of SCG members welcome.

Target Audience:

Corporate grantmakers, CSR professionals and foundations serving the corporate sector


SCG members: register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register)

Guests: register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact [email protected].

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