The deadline to complete the United States Census is fast approaching and there are still far too many of our neighbors that still haven’t filled it out.
Have you done your part? If so, great! But, have you reached out to your friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they have? It’s crucial that EVERYONE take the Census.
How to Fill Out the 2020 Census
There are three ways to fill out the 2020 Census, each of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
If you need a Spanish version of the 2020 Census, click here.
Worried About the Privacy of Your Information?
This is often a concern that people have when filling out the 2020 Census.
But, rest assured, the Census Bureau is required by law to keep your information confidential.
You can learn more about how the Census Bureau protects your privacy and information, here.
Why Is It Important That You Fill Out The Census?
When you complete the Census, you are helping yourself, your neighbors, and your community.
By not completing the form, you are costing the city valuable resources for important city projects and goals that will ultimately benefit all of us.
Data from the 2020 Census, and all those before it, is how the federal government determines the allocation of money to states and communities across the country.
The more people fill out the Census in a given community or state, the more money they can count on receiving from the federal government.
What Does It Mean to Have An Undercount?
An “undercount” is the result of not enough people completing the Census, thus resulting in not enough money being distributed to a given community.
According to some local experts, this happened to Sandy Springs in 2010. What that means in context is that for the last 10 years, our city has been getting LESS money and funding than we could have and should have received.
This has resulted in fewer community projects, including fewer sidewalks, less funding for infrastructure improvements, emergency assistance, and so much more.
And this all happened because of the low number of people that filled out the Census.
How Is Census Data Used?
The federal government used our Census data for a number of important things. You can learn more about it here.
At the end of the day, the U.S. Census is just so important to our city’s wellbeing. For the last decade, Sandy Springs has been receiving federal money, every year, based on data from the 2010 Census. Highway construction and expansion, sidewalks, federal transit, education, job training and retraining, Head Start programs, health services — the list just goes on and on.
If you remember, the city of Sandy Springs recently gave $300,000 to several local organizations to combat food and rent insecurity for our city’s essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the funds were used to pay for laptop computers for at-risk families, so that their children can participate in online learning.
Local Businesses Speak Out On Importance of Census
Martiza Morelli is the Executive Director of Los Ninos Primero, whose mission is to “prepare underserved Latino pre-school children for educational success by providing opportunities to develop their language, cognitive, social, and motor skills.”
When asked about the importance of filling out the Census, Ms. Morelli said, “Having an accurate census count could mean that Los Ninos Primero could expand their programs for families and teens.”
“Without providing these resources our community of English learner students will fall behind affecting not only their future but the future of our city because these students have become a valuable resource to our community,” Ms. Morelli continued.
Martiza Morelli isn’t the only local leader speaking out on the importance of the 2020 Census for our community.
Tamara Carrera is the Executive Director of the Community Assistance Center, which exists to “provide compassionate assistance to neighbors in need by providing financial support, helping to meet basic needs, and promoting self-reliance.”
“Funding to help families affected by job loss during the COVID emergency was allocated based on the 2010 Census data,” Ms. Carrera said. “We would not have been able to help so many families if residents had not completed the forms in 2010.”
“Now, we need even more people to complete the forms, because there are many more people living in our city,” Ms. Carrera continued. “Community Assistance Center is available to help residents complete their forms, and you can call 770-552-4889 and leave your name and phone number, be sure to say that you need help completing the census form and someone will call you back.”
We’re all in this together. Do your part and please fill out the 2020 Census!