When completing the Census, you should count everyone who is living in your household as of April 1, 2020.
Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide count to determine the number of people living in the United States. Data from the census provides the basis for distributing billions of dollars in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs to cities like Homestead.
“The funds that Florida gets every year are used by the state, by counties and by cities like Homestead for programs that serve the community. For instance, education, housing, health care, employment or infrastructure projects that are crucial to the city,” said Andrea Robinson, Media Partnership Specialist from the U.S. Census Bureau Atlanta Regional Office.
From March 12-20, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. “People can go online, they can do it over the phone, or they can request a paper form and mail it if they prefer. We have to highlight that in 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online,” said Robinson.
According to Robinson, residents that don’t speak English are going to be fully covered. “The online questionnaire is available in Spanish, and if the person chooses to call in and fill the census over the phone, they will be supported by bilingual agents that speak not only Spanish but also 13 other languages including Portuguese and Haitian Creole.”
This first stage is called the “self-response operation” in which people take the census voluntarily in the ways described above, and it goes from March 12 to April 30. Then, from May 13 to July 31, the “non-response follow-up operation” will take place, and census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted
One of the aspects that worries the community around the Census 2020 is disclosing sensitive information to the government. “Your information with us is confidential; by law we can’t tell anyone—not ICE, IRS or DHS, not the president, the governor, the major, nobody,” Robinson added.
In fact, census employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both
“People have to be aware that if they don’t respond to the census, that community [Homestead] will stop receiving thousands of dollars for the next ten years, which eventually will affect their daily lives. If they are not counted, that money will not go for that specific neighborhood; it is going to go somewhere else,” she concluded.
Haz clic para leer en Español: A mediados de marzo, los hogares comenzarán a recibir invitaciones para completar el Censo 2020