For the last six weeks, everyone across the United States has experienced the worldwide pandemic and quarantine from the COVID019 coronavirus. Many have also experienced illness, loss of jobs and income, and in some cases, death of loved ones.
But America will eventually come back from this COVID-19 pandemic. We are all looking for a brighter future where we will eventually have family gatherings, concerts, and sporting events again.
When we do, we will need funding to help sustain the infrastructure to help make this happen. Infrastructure like our parks, our ballfields, our roads, our schools, our healthcare facilities, our transportation, and our economy. This infrastructure is overseen and funded by multiple entities, including the federal government.
The 2020 Census helps make this happen. Completion of the Census affects how much funding your community receives, how your community plans for the future, and how you are represented at all levels of government. For each person that completes the Census, the community will receive an estimated $2600/year/person in grants and funding from the federal government.
As of Thursday, May 7, 2020, 58 percent of the US population has completed their Census forms. Pennsylvania is doing a bit better at 61 percent. But we need a COMPLETE count in every community so that we can each receive our fair share of the federal funds and representation in our governmental bodies at the federal and state levels.
You can help out your community when it comes back from the COVID-19 pandemic by filling out your #2020Census form. You can fill out your form online today at http://my2020census.gov, over the phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail.
Let’s make it a brighter future for all. Thank you.
April 1 was Census Day. That’s the day that you are counted as living in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that you missed your chance to be counted.
As of May 3, only about 57 percent of the US population has completed their Census forms.
But we need everyone to be counted. The US Census Bureau is still asking you to fill out your census form. It’s time.
You count. Your children also count. So… remember to include your children, including newborns born on or before April 1, when you fill out your Census form.
As the Census Borough states, not only do your responses help us adults, it also helps the kids:
Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education.
By each of us completing our forms, both my community and your community can get the federal funds necessary to help keep our schools and community vibrant. FYI, for every person listed, your community will receive an estimated $2,600 per year per person for the next ten years from the US Treasury.
I co-chair the Bellefonte Borough Census Complete Counts Committee. This committee is made up of members of the communty who are working with the US Census Bureau to help ensure that everyone in our town is counted in the 2020 Census.
Over time we have done several outreach efforts. At the beginning of March, before the pandemic spread to Pennsylvania, we hand-delivered postcards to every household in town. It included a picture of the letter that the US Census Bureau sent out to everyone on approximately March 15.
The borough is putting a one-sentence reminder to all households and businesses that pay for utilities in town to remember to fill out the census.
We also created banners that went up on our two main streets in town reminding people to “Participate in the 2020 Census.”
We had also planned on holding drop-in centers around town to help the public fill out their Census forms. But due to the coronavirus pandemic and the shelter-at-home/social distancing orders, these assistance centers were canceled.
Instead, we are attempting to send out a message on social media during this era of social distancing, to take a few minutes to fill out your Census form in the safety of your home. You can do it online at http://my.2020Census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail once you receive your paper version of the Census.
We have spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, and Youtube. Here is the first one posted on YouTube.
Once every ten years, the United States counts every person residing in the country. This is the year! And today, April 1, 2020 is Census Day! The census includes every person living in a household or apartment, group quarters, and individuals living on the streets throughout the United State of America..
Throughout the country, April 1 is the designated day on which every person residing with you, even if only temporarily, is to be counted. This includes all newborn babies and children and anyone else who resides with you that day – including people (like foster kids or your parents) who might be temporarily residing with you.
Why is the census so important? The results are used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services. Funding for such things as our roads, our police and fire departments, and our schools and hospitals are based on the Census. It also determines how many seats each state gets in Congress. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts.
On or about March 15, every household should should have received a postcard from the US Census Bureau inviting you to fill out the Census on-line, by phone, or you can request a paper version. This postcard contains a unique number so that the Census only counts people at your address one time only. If you lost this card (see sample below), you can still fill out the Census, but it will take a bit of extra work.
The website where you fill out your census information is https://my2020census.gov. On the landing page, you are asked to press the button labeled, “Start Questionnaire.” On the next page, you are asked to enter the unique number listed on the postcard that was mailed to you. Once you do that, you will confirm your home address and answer the census questions for each member of your household.
If you don’t have that unique number, you can click on the link that says, If you do not have a Census ID, click here. That link will take you to a series of questions asking for your if you live in a state, in Puerto Rico, or somewhere else. Note, “somewhere else drops you out of the program indicating that either your location is ineligible for the Census OR that you live in a territory where an enumerator will come to your home to complete the Census with you. The other two links step you through a series of questions to locate your residence. Once the “where do you live” type questions are complete, you will then answer the census question for each member of your household.
Getting a complete and accurate census count is critically important. If you do not respond to the postcard, the U.S. Census Bureau will send you a paper version to fill out and mail back to them. If you still haven’t filled it out by probably the end of April , they will follow up in person to collect your response. And in this era of the Corona Virus pandemic, filling it out on line, by phone, or on paper will help keep you and your neighbors safe.
Note to college students. Due to the pandemic and the resulting closure of colleges, universities, and trade schools throughout the country, you may have returned home. The US Census Bureau wants you to fill out the form as if you are living in the college town on April 1. Here’s what the Census Bureau says re college students and Covid-19:
In general, students in colleges and universities temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus will still be counted as part of this process. Even if they are home on census day, April 1, they should be counted according to the residence criteria which states they should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. We are asking schools to contact their students and remind them to respond.
No matter how you respond, your personal information is confidential. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information and it can never be used to identify you.
Thank you for being a good neighbor and for filling out your Census 2020 form.
Progressive commentary from Gainesville, Florida, once called the Berkeley of the South. Potano was the chief of and the only known name of the Native American tribe inhabiting the area around what is now Gainesville at the time the Europeans arrived.
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk
Learn more about the state laws being introduced and passed around the U.S. that is limiting Women's rights. Did you know that the Women's Equal Right Amendment from 1983 still needs to be ratified by 3 more states before it goes into effect?