On April 1, 2020, the United States will conduct the decennial census to count ALL people who live in our country, regardless of citizenship status. This constitutionally mandated count is foundational to our democracy and shapes the future of our communities by determining representation and legislative district, distribution of federal dollars, and local decisions around the expansion of services and economic development.
An accurate count in 2020 is crucial for the Community Action Network. Agencies rely on census data to determine federal funding allocations, conduct needs assessments and ultimately create programs that meet local needs and lift up the communities and families we serve. Unfortunately, history shows that the Census always misses some percentage of the population in the final count, especially in disadvantaged or marginalized communities including low-income households, young children, people of color, and immigrants. These are the groups most likely to be served by Community Action, and these are the groups with the most to lose.
CENSUS COUNTS 2020 AND COMMUNITY ACTION COUNTS
As a voice for the country’s 1000+ community action agencies, The Community Action Partnership and Waldo Community Action Partners (WCAP) are committed to ensuring every member of our community is counted. We are proud to serve our community and will work to engage and support Census activities across Waldo County. Community Action is embedded in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the country. Our network’s Census effort seeks to maximize these relationships.
2020 CENSUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Will it make a difference for my community?
Yes! It allows the community to get the funds it needs for its population. When you respond to the Census, you help your community get its fair share of more than $750 billion per year in federal programs like Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, Section 8, and more.
Do I participate if I’m not a permanent citizen?
Yes! The U.S. Constitution says the Census should count every person, whether they are a permanent citizen or not. Federal money and Congressional representation are determined by total population size, not just permanent or legal citizens. States use population to allocate funding for legislative and school districts as well.
Do they come to my home?
They will not come to your home if you complete the form online, by mail, or over the phone. If you do not complete the Census around April 1, 2020, you will receive reminder letters and postcards. If you still do not respond, a Census Bureau employee will come to your home, but will not enter.
Can the information on the Census form be used to deport me?
NO. It is illegal for Census Bureau employees to disclose personal information about individuals. They cannot share information with the FBI, ICE, or any other government or private sector entity. No other government agency has the legal right to access census information. Census employees take confidentiality very seriously, swearing a lifelong oath to protect respondents’ privacy on their first day.
Please consider completing the Census and encourage others to do so too!