April 1 was Census Day, but according to the Census’ website, only 36.2 percent of the country has responded as of March 30. Latinos are the nation’s second largest population group, but according to The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, the community is historically undercounted in the census. NALEO wants Latinos to “chill and fill” out the 2020 Census to ensure that the Latinx community is represented.
There’s still time to respond to the questionnaire as you practice social distancing in your house during the COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau initially planned to send enumerators (aka census takers) door to door to interview residents who didn’t fill out the form, but modified the plan and suspended field operators until April 15 due to COVID-19. Everyone can participate online, by phone or by mail. Some of the paper questionnaires were mailed in English and Spanish, but the questions are available online or by phone in multiple non-English languages, including Spanish.
The census matters because the data collected determines funding for community resources for the next ten years. Funds for infrastructure like roads, social service programs and education are determined by the census, as well as the number of seats in the House of Representatives and congressional and state legislative districts.
The questionnaire includes nine questions about everyone who lives in your household the majority of the time, including babies born on or before April 1, 2020. Your response is strictly confidential, so your information will not be used against you or handed to any law enforcement. You will not be asked for your social security number, bank account or your citizenship status.
Most households received an invitation in the mail last month that included a 12-digital code to fill out the census online, but you can still fill out the questionnaire even if you don’t have the code or didn’t receive the invitation in the mail.
At the 2020 Census’ website, click the green button that says “respond” and then click the blue button that says “start questionnaire.” You can enter the 12-digit census code you received in the mail or you can select “if you don’t have a census ID, click here” underneath the blue login button and verify your physical address.
If you plan to fill the census online, ensure you have time to complete it in one sitting. The Census website notes that it doesn’t save progress, so once you start, you must finish, but it should only take about ten minutes to complete. To fill out the census by phone, call 844-330-2020 any day of the week from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern time. If you would like to respond in Spanish, call 844-468-2020.
The last day to fill out the census was extended until August 14, 2020. Since President Trump extended social distancing until the end of April, take a break from spring cleaning and Netflix to get counted and participate in the 2020 census.
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