Census Day has arrived on April 1. It is the day when all residing in the United States should respond to the Census 2020 for the population count.
Those advocacy workers, especially those in the immigrant communities, they have been preparing for several months for everyone to join in this government survey.
It has been out for a long time, and everyone should know the importance of completing the form.
Because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the efforts are more complicated, and it is harder to get the door to door with all the people. Through different campaigns in social media, putting up posters in pharmacies and grocery stores were done. A very accurate population count is significant to every location.
This will determine the representatives, for example, in New York, getting in Washington and how big the localities would get from the $1.5trillion in federal funding for different things like school lunch programs, Medicare, hospitals, healthcare, and a lot more.
Many immigrants are scared to fill up the form because of the question in citizenship and that these data will be shared, but the Census made sure that it won’t be shared with any other authorities or organizations. The pandemic sadly made these things harder to push through.
An advocate said, “COVID-19 presents another challenge to us. In this time of social distancing, we are reliant on virtual means.” These would include vamping the text messages, social media, and doing some other phone banking. The Census is also partnering with different places to help in disseminating the Census like pharmacies and supermarkets.
Some states are urging their residents to fill up the Census themselves, and they could do it online, by mail or even by phone. Because of the pandemic, the deadline for this has been extended to August 14. However, the counts from the Census would need to be reported by December to the Congress and the president.
A senior manager from civic democracy said, “How can we get all the communities that we can to self-respond now so that when this blows over, the Census Bureau and then all the [community-based organizations] can focus our in-person outreach to the communities that need it.”
An advocate added, “When that moment comes where we’re allowed to walk in the sunshine again, we’ll be ready to go. The Census is about money, power, and respect.”
She continued, “Right now it is our immigrant communities that are keeping New York running. They are on the front lines, and they are on the front lines in a very vulnerable situation. We need to make sure that these communities continue to be counted, and not to be undercounted, because they deserve to be as well-resourced as any other community in the United States.”
If ever someone knocks at your door claiming to be a Census affiliate, make sure you ask for their ID and see a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date.