With March and April upon us, Golden Corridor residents can make sure they “count” for their communities and state.
The U.S. Census Bureau will start sending official mail to households across the country March 12, with detailed information on how to participate in the once-a-decade population count required by the Constitution, according to www.2020census.gov.
For Census 2020, residents will have the option of responding to the survey online, by phone or by mail. It will ask where they are residing as of April 1, along with other demographic questions.
As of April 1 every household is scheduled to be contacted by the Census Bureau with information on how to participate, and additional reminders will be sent over the course of the month to those who have not responded.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau is continuing to urge residents to respond online, by email or over the phone, to minimize the need for site visits by Census workers.
As officials have been reminding residents, getting an accurate count in each community, county and state is critical because the final number determines population-based issues including congressional and legislative districts and federal funding in numerous areas.
An op-ed article by the chair and vice-chair of the Arizona Complete Count Committee states: “$675 billion in federal funding is on the line for distribution to states. In fact, nearly $3,000 per Arizonan every year can be tied to the census count — that’s more than $20.5 billion annually. These funds support things like education, health care, infrastructure, child safety and so much more.”
The statewide committee’s chair is Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, and vice-chair is Assistant Secretary of State Allie Bones. Gov. Doug Ducey formed the committee last year to coordinate efforts at the county and municipal levels.
State Rep. T.J. Shope, whose district includes most of Pinal County, is also on the committee.
Johnson and Bones also said the state’s efforts are focusing on groups that have been undercounted in the past, including young children, multifamily housing residents, military families, non-native English speakers, low-income households and minorities.
More information about Arizona’s push for a complete census count is available at www.azcensus2020.gov.