Yesterday’s (July 14, 2020) installment of “Working Together,” highlighted a recent essay from the Council of Foreign Affairs regarding the history and importance of the United States Census. The 2020 Census, which determines, among other things, where $1.5 trillion in annual federal funds (supporting more than 300 programs) will be distributed over the next ten years.
Although Census Day was April 1, that was not a deadline of any sort, but rather a reference date designed to account for everyone that was living in a given household as of April 1, 2020. As such, there is still plenty of time to participate in Census 2020 either online, by telephone, or by mail.
The census can be completed online or via phone in one of 13 different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, Franch, Hatian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese) while the US Census Bureau also provides user guides in a total of 60 languages (including American Sign Language and Braille).
Starting this month, census takers will begin to visit households that have yet to respond to Census 2020 to ensure that everyone in every home in America “is counted.” 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. Census takers are hired from your area, and their goal is to help you and everyone in your home be counted in the 2020 Census. If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language. 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.”
Also, to avoid scams and ensure that any individual claiming to be a census taker is who they say they are, the Census Bureau advises residents to “make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a US Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date,” adding that “census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.”
And finally, the US Census Bureau reminds everyone that your responses to the census are confidential and by law (Title 13 of the US Code), the bureau “cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies.”