by Sara Nadeau, Public Information Officer, City of Grain Valley
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. It is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. My involvement with this process began last year, as I was asked to be Grain Valley’s Chair of the local Complete Count Committee (CCC). Local and regional CCC’s are key to creating awareness about the 2020 Census across the country.
Census data is very important to our community and government funding to the state. It’s used to allocate $675 billion each year to fund federal programs, some of which may be related to public safety, healthcare, education and much more. Even a 1% undercount can cost a state millions!
In addition to funding disbursement, the Census data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as districts for state governments. Census data helps communities plan roads, schools, hospitals, senior centers and emergency services. Businesses use census data to determine the plausibility of placing their operations in communities.
Census Day 2020 is on April 1st. Census questionnaires will be sent to homes by mid-March. For the first time, respondents may answer the questions online, but also by phone or mail. The census form will include questions relating to the number of people living in the home, whether the home is owned or rented, a phone number for at least one person in the home and basic info about each person living in the home. It should take only a few minutes to complete and all information collected will be kept confidential and protected by the federal government. The data is used for statistical purposes only.
Some folks have concerns about the security of personal information and releasing such info to the Census Bureau. Your information will be protected by one of the strongest confidentiality guarantees in the federal government. In order to protect yourself from fraudulent requests of information, remember the Census Bureau will never ask for the following: your full Social Security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, bank or credit card account numbers or your mother’s maiden name. If you have questions about any information request, contact the Chicago Regional Office of the Census Bureau by calling 1-800-865-6384.
Please help to get the word out about the importance of taking just a few minutes to complete Census forms when they come to your homes. More information can be found at census2020kc.org and the US Census Bureau’s Facebook page.
If you would like assistance in accessing materials to distribute regarding the Census, call 816-847-6293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.