Census 2020 is ramping up, and its important everyone in our city is counted. Responding to the Census means making sure that our communities get our fair share of federal funds for programs like Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start, unemployment benefits, Section 8 housing vouchers, programs for seniors and disabled veterans, and school lunch programs. It also makes sure that our communities have enough money to build roads, hospitals and schools.
What is the Census?
- The Constitution requires that the U.S. government must direct a count of everyone living in the country every 10 years. It is used at the federal, state and local level to determine political representation, funding for things like schools, healthcare, and housing.
What happens if I skip a question?
The Census Bureau, the agency in charge of ensuring that everyone participates in the Census, has not given official guidance yet. They have verbally confirmed that all census forms will be counted, even if the forms are missing answers.
Will I be in danger if I do fill out the Census?
- There are extremely strong protections for Census data. The Census Bureau, the Commerce Department (which houses the Census Bureau), and their employees may not reveal a person’s data that they have gathered through the Census to anyone. That means they can’t share it with federal agencies, immigration authorities, law enforcement, or courts of law.
Do immigrants have to participate in the Census?
- Yes! Every 10 years, everyone living in the U.S. participates, no matter immigration status. All of us win when everyone participates. A full count of our communities ensures that we are represented and that our communities receive our fair share of programs like Medicaid, school lunches, and programs for seniors and disabled veterans.