Every 10 years a fleet of door-knockers, known as enumerators, hired by the Census Bureau would go door to door visiting homes to encourage people to respond to the U.S. Census. But not now. The entire operation, which determines the allotment of congressional seats, Electoral College votes, and about $1.5 trillion in federal funding for the next 10 years, has been upended by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Census Bureau announced that it would suspend field operations, at least until April 1st. So while the 2020 Census is still underway Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 operations in order to:
- Protect the health and safety of Census employees and the American public.
- Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
- Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.
The Census Bureau is encouraging everyone to participate online if possible and is adjusting its operations to protect public health. So, while everyone is practicing social distancing, fill out your census form online or over the phone.
"Represent NYC" speaks to Rachel Bloom, the Director of Public Policy at Citizens Union and who sits of the steering committee of NY Counts 2020, about the adjustments to protocol for the Census count during the Coronavirus pandemic. The interview will air on this Sunday's "Represent NYC" on MNN 1 and MNN HD at 7PM. Watch the interview:
How do I get Counted?
The U.S. Census Bureau will launch an update to 2020census.gov, including instructions about how to respond to the 2020 Census online. Expanded “How to Respond” content now includes links to the online questionnaire and detailed information about the timeline to respond, examples of the letters and postcards the Census Bureau is mailing out, and answers to frequently asked questions. The site includes information in English and Spanish, as well as in other languages.
Remember, every living human, including newborn babies, counts.
Responding to the Census Why it matters:
- Getting an accurate Census count will determine – for the next decade – the amount of federal funding New York gets for critical programs.
- If every person is not counted, New York stands to lose out on millions of dollars of federal funding public transportation infrastructure improvements, food assistance to needy families, and early childhood education for low-income children.
- NY could also lose congressional seats and electoral college votes.
The 2020 Census will be available online, by phone, and by mail. Online and phone responses can be completed in 13 languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese). A paper form will be mailed to every house that hasn’t responded already when we send our fourth mail piece out.
Again, you can respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or by mail using a paper questionnaire. So, please fill out your Census online, via phone, or request a paper form from www.my2020census.gov.
Encourage your friends, neighbors, family and loved ones to do the same.
Here are a few questions answered about the census:
Does the 2020 Census ask about citizenship status?
- NO. The 2020 Census does not ask whether you or anyone in your home is a U.S. citizen.
Are non-citizens counted in the census?
- YES. Everyone counts. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the country, including non-citizens. Learn more about who should be counted when you complete the 2020 Census.
Can my answers be shared with law enforcement or used against me?
- NO. The law prevents the Census Bureau from sharing your information with law enforcement. Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are only used to create statistics about our country. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to protect your personal information and keep it strictly confidential. That’s every answer, to every question.C
What questions will NOT be asked by the census bureau?
- During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:
- Your Social Security number.
- Money or donations.
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
- Your bank or credit card account numbers.
If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it's a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.