You can respond to the Census online, by mail or by phone.
Photo: Courtesy of the Census Bureau / Courtesy
Those who live in our poor and minority communities have historically not been correctly counted in the United States census. For example, nearly one million African-Americans nationwide were not counted in the 2010 census.
Fortunately, there is an easy step you can take that doing so will go a long way toward ensuring that everyone in our communities gets the representation and resources they deserve. By completing the Questionnaire 2020 Census Online, by phone, or by mail, you can add your voice to the conversation and have you and your family heard.
Here are five ways your response to the Census will help you and your fellow Americans.
Promote racial equity
In recent months, millions have taken to the streets to demand racial justice. These protests have helped amplify the voices of underserved communities. But real change will only occur when these demands become public policy. For that to happen, our government needs to see you. And that can only happen if you stand up to be told.
The racial inequalities that undermine our nation can never be addressed unless you complete the census and join the fight for social justice..
Directs funds to programs that save lives
As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to devastate the country, it is critical that we direct our emergency resources to those who need them most. African Americans and Latin Americans have been disproportionately affected by the virus and are twice as likely to die from COVID-19.
Wealth also influences covid-19 survival. Adults with an annual household income less than $ 15,000 are almost 15 percent more likely to develop a serious illness after infection compared to those with an annual income greater than $ 50,000.
Your response to the census helps essential workers identify communities at risk and directs resources to these vulnerable populations.
The coronavirus will not be the last time that certain communities will be disproportionately affected by a natural disaster. Accurate census data prepares first responders, assisting nonprofits, and government officials for other future crises.
It finances everything from public housing to school breakfasts
This year’s Census will determine how trillions of dollars in federal spending are allocated over the next decade. In 2017 alone, more than 300 federal programs relied on 2010 census data to allocate $ 1.5 billion in funding. This money pays for everything from public housing to school breakfast programs, new roads, and garbage and recycling pick-up schedules.
Federal dollars will not reach the communities that need them most unless the government has an accurate picture of the local population where you live. You must draw that picture by letting them know that you are there.
Ensures fair political representation
Have you ever wondered why Ohio has 16 seats in the House of Representatives, while Georgia only has 14? The number of representatives a state receives increases with its population, and the Census determines the population of the state.
You pay taxes, right? Well. Don’t want to be represented fairly?
The 2020 Census results will shape the map of Congress for the next decade. If you want a Congress that represents your community and serves your interests, make sure the government vouches for you and your family.
Census data doesn’t just help government officials. Businesses also consult the Census to make hiring and payroll decisions, or when they need to determine where to locate a new office, or the best way to serve their communities.
For example, understanding the demographics of a particular neighborhood can help a local merchant determine what items to stock. This knowledge helps you grow the business and create jobs in your neighborhood, while providing the necessary items for the market.
In United Way we fight so that all The people of all communities are seen and heard. But we can not do it alone. Join us and help defend your community by being counted. You have until September 30 to complete the 2020 United States Census. The change will not happen without you.
Suzanne McCormick is the president of the United Way in the United States.