Once a decade the country participates in the census, which provides the basis for redistribution of Congressional seats, redistricting, and assigning billions of dollars in federal and state funding to support your state, county and community’s vital programs.
Throughout March and April, invitations were mailed from the census with instructions on how to participate. Since that time responses have been able to be recorded online, by phone, or through a paper questionnaire. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, census operations and timelines have been adjusted with all census offices scheduled to conclude work no later than Oct. 31. This also includes the process of door-to-door visits to those who have not yet responded to the census in order to gather the most accurate count.
Having everyone counted is imperative so that our communities have the opportunity to receive all of the funding available for our true population size. Many of the programs the Area Agency on Aging District 7 provides are dependent upon federal and state dollars. Having everyone counted helps us receive the most appropriate amount of available funding in order to best serve the people in our district who need our assistance.
If you have not yet completed the census, you may very soon receive a visit to your home by a Census Bureau worker. According to the Census Bureau, census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit your home. All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
If someone visits your home this year to collect information for the 2020 census, check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
If you respond online or by phone today, a census taker is less likely to have to visit your home to collect your response.
During the 2020 census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for: your Social Security Number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or your bank or credit card account numbers. If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.
Participating in the census is a part of our civic duty and important to make sure our district has fair representation and appropriate funding based on our population.
For more information about the census, you can log onto www.census.gov.
For more information about long-term care home and community-based services in your community, call our agency at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina R. Keller is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.