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Time running out to complete 2020 Census

by WayneTimes.com
September 5, 2020

According to Wayne County Administrator, Rick House, he is not only encouraging Wayne County residents to complete their Census, but “I am strongly urging all our County employees, as well. It’s just 5 minutes online, but it has a huge impact on our local government funding,” said House 

About 2020 Census 

The U.S. Constitution mandates a head count, every ten years, of all residents living in the United States and its territories. Census counts determine how many seats each state is allocated in the U.S. House of Representative as well as how over $675 billion in federal dollars in distributed annually. Individual responses are protected by federal law, never to be shared with any other department, court, or law enforcement agency. Responding to the 2020 Census is easy with four ways to respond: online, by phone, by paper, or with the help of a census taker. 

No one can have missed the message. Everyone from  government agencies, non profit organizations, and school districts are encouraging everyone to complete their 2020 Census.

The U.S. Census is used by the federal government to determine the amount of funding for local schools, hospitals and senior centers. This information is also used to determine funding for public transportation, water/sewer expansion projects, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Federal funding helps to reduce the property tax burden for homeowners, farms and small businesses. 

According to State Senator Pam Helming: “Making the choice to complete the census helps our community. You can make a real difference in about 10 minutes!”

“Please do not hesitate to respond to the U.S. Census, by law the Census Bureau is required to keep your personal information safe and confidential.

Your census can be submitted in a number of ways including, online, by mail or by the phone. If you have already completed the census, there is no need to complete it again. If you have  completed the census there is still time-- but not much.”

The U.S. Census Bureau plans  to end  all counting efforts for the 2020 census on September 30, a month sooner than previously announced. That included door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail. The new date was  directed to: “accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of December 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce” posted  Director Steven Dillingham on the bureau’s website.

“People aren’t going to answer the census at this point because they saw a fancy ad or because they got a cup that says ‘2020 Census,’” said James Christy, the assistant director for field operations at the U.S. Census Bureau. “They’re going to answer it because somebody that they trust said that it’s OK to do this, and that it’s important to do this.” These last-minute changes to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S. threaten the accuracy of population numbers used to determine the distribution of political representation and federal funding for the next decade.

New York Self-Response

Rates Lag 2010 Rates

New York Attorney General Letitia James called on New Yorkers to defend representation in Congress and the allocation of federal funding and to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census ahead of the upcoming deadline on September 30.

A complete and accurate census is critical for education, hospital, and transportation funding across New York state. According to alarming data recently released by Census 2020 Hard to Count, a mapping system that is run by CUNY’s Center for Urban Research, New York is on pace to be severely undercounted; the data found that the self-response rate to the 2010 census in some neighborhoods was as low as 35 percent.

“Our democracy depends on the census — from allocating federal resources to determining congressional districts — which is why it is so critically important to ensure the most accurate count of the population,” said Attorney General James. 

“We are falling behind in responding to the census as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. Everyone counts; therefore, everyone must be counted, and we must do everything we can to ensure high levels of participation.”

An undercount of the population could deprive the state of political power in Congress for a decade, hampering efforts to serve New Yorkers and depriving them of the representation to which they would otherwise be entitled. Census data is also used for redistricting state legislative seats as well, so the effects of an undercount would echo throughout every level of government.

Billions of dollars of federal funding that are dependent on the population count are also at stake. There are at least 18 federal programs that distribute financial assistance based in whole, or in part, upon each state’s relative share of the total U.S. population. Numerous other programs distribute funds based off census data as well.

  One of many agencies which can be affected by an undercounted population is Wayne County Action Program.

They encouraged all to complete the census for many reasons:

“Our 2020 Census data will determine the number of delegates Wayne County receives in the House of Representatives; draw district lines at the State level (NYS Senate, Assembly, and Courts); determine state and federal funding for roads, bridges, public transportation, water and wastewater projects; determine FAIR funding support for schools, hospitals, and fire departments.

For these reasons, it is extremely important that EVERYONE living in Wayne County be counted. As of early August, a little over half (57%) of Wayne County households have submitted their Census responses. We can do better than that. Please help to spread the word: complete your 2020 Census.”

It’s quick, easy, extremely important, and the best thing you can do today to help your community  Visit www.my2020census.gov and compete the simple on-line questionnaire in less than five minutes.

Or call 844.330.2020 to respond via telephone (in English).  For Spanish, call 844.468.2020

Visit www.2020census.gov for telephone numbers for twelve additional languages.

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