In less than one year, on April 1, 2020, the Census will be in full swing. Communities across the country will begin reporting to the U.S. Census and be counted. This process of counting will ensure that the political power, health, and safety of every community is maintained or enhanced in the upcoming decade.
In the next year though, there is much preparation that needs to be done by community groups who represent minorities, immigrants, children, and others to ensure that everyone is counted.
Why census data matters
Census data is used to influence the distribution of billions of dollars that go to educational agencies that pay for special education, school lunches, improving teacher quality, and Head Start programs.
The information collected determines where community health centers are placed to better serve low-income patients and aid current health disparities, such as those impacted by the opioid crisis.
Companies use the data from the census to determine where to build factories or expand store real estate.
Finally, census data is used to draw the state and federal legislative district lines that ultimately determine the elected officials who represent us.
The drastic effects of a census undercount
The U.S. Census Bureau has been working to prepare for Census 2020 for the last decade, testing the forms, engaging communities, and planning for a new digital count.
We are committed to a fair and accurate 2020 Census because if our communities are not fully counted, opportunities for investment, health, public safety, and representation will be lost.
It’s up to all organizations and individuals to get involved and make our voices heard.
Now is the time to build power and support in our communities by getting involved in Complete Count Committees at the state and local levels. Complete Count Committees will be planning to work together—across communities and political ideologies—to ensure that every community is accurately counted.
The League will be working on Complete Count Committees, with local and state governments, and with community members to stand up and be counted. A good census is the first step to making sure that everyone has good roads, schools, and representation now and in the future.