Amidst Coronavirus Crisis, Don’t Let Census Get Lost in the Shuffle

Kenosha - As our daily lives have undergone drastic changes over the last few weeks, and as it seems that all people want to talk about is the ongoing pandemic, it would be easy to overlook the fact that we are in a census year.

Every ten years, that U.S. government attempts to count the population of the 50 states and five U.S. territories.

The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and the resulting count is used for a whole host of critically important functions.

These include:

● Apportionment - The census counts are used to determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

● Redistricting - State and local officials use the counts to help redraw congressional, state legislative and local district boundaries in order to contain roughly equal numbers of people.

● Federal funding - Census counts help determine the amount of federal funding that state and local governments will receive for the next decade. This funding is used for programs like Medicaid, Head Start, highway projects, special education grants and school lunch programs.

● Planning - Census counts help state and local governments anticipate the need for important things like schools, hospitals and roads. By now, households have begun to receive their “invitation” to participate in the 2020 Census. These mailings include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the survey online (2020census.gov or My2020census.gov). The survey can also be completed by phone (844-330-2020). All homes that do not respond either online or by phone will receive a paper questionnaire that can be completed and returned, as well. If for some reason your household does not receive an invitation to respond from the U.S. Census Bureau, visit the website or call their phone line. Completing the census survey, no matter the method, takes no more than a few minutes.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your answers and any other personal information strictly confidential. Language supports are available. It is important to note that, while it is possible that you may receive a call from the Census Bureau after submitting your survey to follow up on your answers, the census workers will never ask for financial information of Social Security number; they will only review the responses that you previously provided. Additionally, the Census Bureau will never ask for money or donations or contact you on behalf of a political party. Do your part. Get counted.