The best way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is for all Latinos living in Miami-Dade to make sure they fill out the Census. An accurate count will facilitate the allocation of federal funds to the community.
September 30 is the deadline to fill out the 2020 census. In parallel, mid-September marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month celebration when the country’s Hispanic achievements and contributions are evoked. The Census overlaps as an opportunity for Latinos to ensure that our voice continues to be heard.
However, these are challenging times for the community to participate mostly due to the Covid-19 emergency that has been significantly affecting South Florida. Still, the Census Bureau has been working to continue with the census operation and has adjusted its protocols and schedule to count the population accurately.
The numbers speak for us: Miami-Dade is behind in its census response which could lead to a lack of federal funding and grants that are allocated to each community. Miami-Dade ranks 31st out of 67 counties in the state. Whereas the national average of people filling out the Census is 63 percent, only 58 percent of Miami-Dade residents have responded as of mid-August.
“We understand that Covid-19 has strongly impacted South Florida. However, we made sure to carry out this Census in the best possible way,” said Manuel Landivar, Assistant Regional Census Manager. “We have staff working, following up on people who have not responded, and observing health protocols to know which areas are more accessible than others and dispatch our staff to the field.”
Census takers began visiting homes in South Miami-Dade on August 11, and the Census Bureau has been continually training staff. They estimate that both North Miami and South Miami—the offices between which the Miami-Dade Census is divided—will have 1,000 to 1,200 census takers visiting homes until September 30.
According to Manuel Landivar, the main priority is that people fill out the Census either online, by phone, or mail. “We invite people to answer mainly through these channels, as the deadline is also September 30. This way we avoid census takers knocking on doors, which helps us reduce cost and will take people less time.”
However, if a census taker knocks on your door, be assured that all security protocols have been implemented to protect the staff and residents. “Census takers knocking on doors are trained to maintain physical distance outside the residence. They do not enter the house. It is a short interview of less than ten minutes,” said Manuel.
September is very critical to ensure the support of the Miami-Dade Hispanic community to complete the Census. “If we all fill out the Census, the more benefits we will get as a community. We want a complete and truthful census for our nation,” concluded Manuel Landivar.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Asegúrese de completar el censo. Se acerca la fecha límite nuestro futuro está en juego