2020 Census: Why Should You Care?



Over the last few years, our country has seen an incredible movement of citizens getting more involved in their communities, like a wave of passion rising. Here in Forsyth County, there are so many different causes to be passionate about and changes to support. Imagine if 10 minutes of your time could make a genuine impact on something you truly cared about?

Every ten years, the Census records every resident living in the United States, and you guessed it—it’s that time again!  Beginning April 1st, 2020, the Census Bureau will send out questionnaires across the nation and you will soon have an opportunity to take part and be counted.

So, why should you care? 

While it may seem like just a number, your count is worth so much more. This year, the U.S. Census Bureau wants you to know that everyone counts! The community you hold near and dear to you will be critically affected by the outcome of the data received, as it directly coordinates to billions of dollars in federal funding allocated for local and long-term usage across each state. Additionally, it affects representation and redistricting for state and national congressional seats.

Think of the Census results as the proof of the pudding of what our community needs! Regardless of what you like or dislike about your city, funding is involved in nearly every single one of them. A simple way to think about how the Census count translates directly is in terms of dollars—dollars for you, your community, and important causes. Without accurate data, Forsyth County can lose out on funding for critical programs that sustain our community, such as the Department of Social Services, Food and Nutrition Services program, and more.

What impact can we see locally on programs and initiatives?

Right here in Winston-Salem, there are different subcommittees through the Complete Count Committee (CCC), covering everything from public workforce and transportation to non-profits and higher education. These individuals span from government officials to civilians. Each subcommittee may be addressing a different angle, but all understand the importance of knowing our city’s numbers. Government officials will be taking this information to make choices about schools, hospitals, public safety, housing, transportation, healthcare, employment, and even public policy. When funding is received or, unfortunately, cut, even the smaller things like pothole-covered roads are affected.  

Exactly how much effort are we talking about? 

This is not your grandma’s census! The 2020 Census will be more accessible than ever with its exciting jump into the twenty-first century by going digital. You will have the option this year to head online to fill out the seven-question survey and in less than one minute be counted. Census-mailers begin going out mid-March, and you’ll have the ability to respond as soon as you receive yours, and be able to find online access instructions as well. You can also locate local Recreation Centers or Branch Libraries to take the Census on-line, for those who wish to, but don’t have Internet access. If you prefer to fill yours out in person, you still have the option to be greeted by an official Census Taker to complete your survey or answer right over the phone. Additionally, the 2020 Census will offer questionnaire assistance available in 12 non-English languages, as well as provide Bilingual (English and Spanish) materials to make sure everyone can take part.

How else can you help make the Census a success? 

Outside of taking the Census yourself, you can share the importance and impact with your friends and neighbors. This is the perfect time to encourage each other and remind them that their life counts and can make a difference in their community! Over the decades of the U.S. Census being conducted, there are historically undercounted communities, such as immigrants, children under the age of six years, and the homeless population. While the Forsyth County Complete Count Committee (FCCCC) is making every effort to help improve counting these members, your effort makes a difference.

2020 Census Recap: How to Make an Impact. 

  • Save the date! Census launch is officially April 1st, 2020;
  • Fill out the questionnaire online, by mail, by phone or with an enumerator;
  • Encourage your community to take the Census;
  • Participate in Forsyth County’s Complete Count Committee (CCC);
  • Follow the U.S. Census Bureau on Social Media;
  • Check out the Census Bureau’s 2020 Census site at 2020census.gov;
  • Apply to be an official Census Taker at 2020census.gov/jobs.

 


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