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Every Person Counts: Why the 2020 Census Is Important

2020 is not just an election year—it’s also the time when the federal government counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five US territories. Around March and April 2020, each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire either online, by phone, or by mail. This will mark the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online.

This census is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the US Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for our community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the US House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. So a complete and accurate count of the population is essential to drive policy decisions over the next 10 years.

However, finding everyone is not an easy task. While most TBE members will probably receive their questionnaires at home and will be able to answer online if they choose, there are many people who are traditionally undercounted. The most commonly overlooked people include seniors, children under five, immigrants, and those experiencing homelessness. The US Census Bureau is looking for partner organizations to help with outreach and education.

You can find more information about the census at https://2020census.gov/en.html. If you are interested in getting involved locally, please contact Aleeza at engage@tbemadison.org.

January 22, 2020 25 Tevet 5780