In one year, the 2020 Census will be in full swing. This nationwide count of every person in the United States provides critical data that helps determine how to distribute $800 billion in federal funding.
A fair and accurate count makes certain that there is strong representation for federal, state, county and school board districts. It helps businesses to project sales and make decisions about locations and hiring. It also helps cities plan for school class sizes, health facilities, roads and public transit, grocery stores, and so many other vital parts of life in our neighborhoods.
We need to get this right.
If we don’t, there are real consequences for our communities and our nation – with many of those consequences lasting for a decade. When anyone in our community is missing in the Census, we all lose.
But the 2020 Census is facing unprecedented challenges, including the first “high tech” census, fewer resources and general distrust of government. That means we will all have to work together to ensure that the hardest-to-count communities—like people of color, low-income folks, immigrant communities, rural communities, and young children – aren’t missed.
At United Way, we are doing our part.
We are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to raise awareness and promote the importance of the Census. We are also leveraging 2-1-1, the free and confidential nationwide service that connects individuals to community services and resources like transportation, housing assistance, and food resources. 2-1-1s will be able to help people find organizations offering assistance with completing or answering Census questions.
Across the country, United Ways are actively engaged in supporting the 2020 Census.
In Washington, DC, the United Way of the National Capital Area is serving as the community hub for local nonprofit organizations. In California, the United Way of the Bay Area is coordinating get-out-the-count efforts in 7 counties. In Missouri, United Way of Greater St. Louis has been appointed to the Governor’s Complete Count Committee and is developing public awareness campaigns to educate communities.
Will you join us?
Here are three ways that you can join the fight to make sure your community is counted:
1. Watch the kick-off of Census Day LIVE on April 1 at 11am: The U.S. Census Bureau will host a live operational briefing to mark the "one year out" milestone from the 2020 Census. Members of the public and the media are invited to watch the live webcast.
2. Raise public awareness using hashtags #CountMeIn and #2020Census. Post on social media about why it’s important for your voice to be counted.
Sample tweet: The #2020Census is fast approaching and the stakes are high. Raise your voice to make sure your community is counted. Join us today and say #CountMeIn! #UWAdvocate https://unitedway.co/2TzMhj3
Click here to tweet this now.
3. Pledge to be counted! Sign our BE COUNTED pledge to complete the Census by April 1, 2020.