What do you mean filling out the 2020 Census is the least you can do for your community?
Actually it is not the least, it is actually doing a lot for your community. Did you know that if you just fill out the 2020 Census you have given your state approximately $20,000 in federal funds per person in your household for the next 10 years. This is a very important way for your state to receive the money it needs in general and after COVID-19 it will be even more important to receive federal funds in the future, so very important.
What programs receive this federal money in my state?
There is hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds that go into communities each year and no matter how big or small your town, that money makes a huge impact. From highway planning and construction to public transit like buses and subways your commute is affected. Your local schools will get money based on the head count of kids in your community for Head Start, school lunches, special education, Title 1 Grants and grants that support teachers. Libraries, parks, playgrounds and communities centers are also supported by these funds.
If you want funding for hospitals, fire departments, schools, SNAP, Medicaid, and highway planning and construction for the next 10 years you need to fill out the census. If you want to see the full list (and it is extensive – but interesting visit here)
Who should be counted on the 2020 census
Who should be counted? Pretty much everyone should be counted. That means citizens, residents, non-citizens, foreign workers, diplomats, college students who are at school in your town and even those who are in the US illegally. Why? Because everyone uses the services and programs that the census money supports. The more people counted the more money for those programs to service the total population…not just citizens. The money is allocated based on actual humans living in an area needing roads and services.
Does the census ask my citizenship?
No. And, to dispel rumors – by law they cannot share your information with immigration or law enforcement agencies or allow it to be used to affect your government benefits. Plus the census does not ask your citizenship or social security number so it your legal status in this country does not matter to them. But if you are living here you need to be counted so that Virginia (or the state you live in) can access federal funds that will plan the roads you will drive on and the services you will use over the next 10 years. The bigger the population the bigger the funds.
So to repeat it again: the census just needs a total headcount for federal funds to be distributed. Oh, and for voting…but we will get to that.
My mother lives with us, does she fill out her own census or do we put her on ours?
It is really simple. The census does not care about your relationships. It needs a headcount for the number of people living at your mailing address. None of this is personal, it is purely a headcount so your community has the funds it needs. So remember to fill out ONE (1) form per house address, not one per family – so if there are three families living at one address, assign one person fill out the census and include every person at that physical address. If your mother lives with you then she goes on the 101 Pinewood Ct. household census. The same goes with roommates; assign one roommate to fill it out the census and have them count all the roommates in the house under their form.
Do I count my kids on the 2020 Census?
Yes! Don’t forget kids. Newborns and kids under 5 years old count. And for some reason millions of them were left off of the last census by their families. But those very same kids are now 10 years old and older, and have been in school, eating school lunches, and using public services for the last 10 years. Since they were not counted in 2010, that has resulted in millions of dollars not given to those communities whose parents did not count their kids on their forms. Governor Northam’s Complete Count Commission revealed that “Virginia was in the top 10 states that had the highest number of under counted children in the 2010 Census”. We can do better Virginia. Forgetting to include infants and kids is a great way to financially strain your public school system, SNAP program and highway planning for the next ten years…so don’t forget to count your children.
If you have kids, count them. If you are living in the US, under whatever status, be counted. That $20,000 per person of federal funds for your community goes to funding schools, libraries, grant money available to your community, hospitals, Medicaid, SNAP, highway planning and construction, research facilities, universities, non-profit organizations, and emergency resources. You are getting the picture! It is all about the distribution of federal dollars…and representation….
Can we gain or lose seats in the House of Representatives based on census results?
Yes! The results of the census determine how many House of Representatives each US State gets to have in Congress. Larger populations get more Reps in the House. Smaller populations get less Reps. Virginia is one of the states estimated to get an additional seat in the US House based on 2020 Census numbers. But that will only happen if all its residents (legal, nonlegal, H1B visa or visitor status, etc) count themselves.
Does the Constitution state that I have to participate in the census?
Yes, it is required by the Constitution. Will they come arrest you if you refuse to send it in? No. But honestly, with everything going on in the world right now…communities will need every federal dollar they can get. So it is literally the least you can do for your community. Fill it out and be counted. That is how you can give back to your community.
How long does this take and what questions do they ask on the 2020 Census?
Having literally just taken it online I can tell you it took me exactly 7 minutes to complete. I did have my letter so I had the code it asked for but there was an option for completing it online without the code. It asked me the names, ages and ethnicity of all the people in my house. And it asked me to indicated who of those people I listed were on the mortgage or responsible for the rent. That was all I had to do to make sure in our family of four was counted. That means in 7 minutes I just directed up to 80,000 of federal funds to my state over the next 10 years. You are welcome Virginia.
OK, I am ready how to I fill out my 2020 Census, now what?
By now you should have received your form in the mail to fill out for your household. However, you can fill it out online too. April 1, 2020 is Census Day and that means that you fill out the census based on the numbers of individual humans living in your house/apartment/trailer/town home/condo as of that date.
Want to see how your community is doing? Check out the 2020 Census map that will show you how your town or county is doing in completing the census and how it compares to your state. It is a cool map. Here is the census map.
Got questions? Ready to roll? Here is the link to the Census for your questions and to fill it out. You can do it right now online. Just do it.
Then share this post and challenge your friends and family to do it to.