Census 2020 – Everyone Counts in Putnam

April 1, 2020 is Census Day. The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has been conducting the Census every ten years since 1790. Data from the Census will be used for the next ten years for many things – including determining New York State’s representation in Congress as well as local districting. Your responses determine where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more. Census data gives community leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future. Responding also fulfills your civic duty because it’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Census Bureau estimates that every person not counted equals a loss of approximately $2,500 per year to local municipalities. This means that every 400 people who are not counted equates to a loss of about $1 Million in funding – each year to our community.

We need to get everyone living in Putnam counted.

What does the Census ask
The 2020 Census contains simple questions about the number of people in your household and their basic demographic data, along with whether the home is owned or rented. 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, or about citizenship. See what questions are asked (https://2020census.gov/en/census-data.html) and why your answers matter.

Confidentiality
The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code. These laws not only provide authority for the Census Bureau’s work, but also provide strong protection for the information they collect. All responses to the Census are confidential, and cannot be shared with any other federal or local government entity, including law enforcement agencies. More information (https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html) on data protection and confidentiality is available.

How to complete the Census form
Completing the Census is simple. There are only nine questions to answer, sample forms are available in English (https://2020census.gov/content/dam/2020census/materials/partners/2019-08/2020-informational-questionnaire.pdf)  and Spanish (https://2020census.gov/content/dam/2020census/materials/partners/2019-08/2020-informational-questionnaire-spanish.pdf) on the U.S Census Bureau’s website. Every household will receive an invitation to respond to the Census in March. This is the first time you will have the opportunity to respond quickly and easily online at www.2020census.gov. The Census Bureau will also accept response via phone or mail. Additional support to complete the Census will be provided in 59 languages including Polish.

How to Complete the Census Online

Want to know how to fill out the 2020 Census online? This is the first decennial census with an option to respond via the Internet. The Census Bureau has posted a preview of the 2020 Census Video Language Guide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZAe8XYeNQ) on YouTube that serves as a step-by-step tutorial for how to navigate the online interface of the 2020 Census. Study up on how to complete your Census questionnaire online before you receive your invitation to respond in March!

Census Jobs
The Census Bureau is hiring in Putnam. Apply, and with one application, you may be considered for several positions, including census taker, recruiting assistant, office clerk, and supervisory staff—and help your community while getting paid. Census takers are paid at a rate of $21.00 per hour, and receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where applicable. Multilingual individuals are in high demand in Putnam County. Online applications are available in English and Spanish. See https://www.census.gov/library/video/2019/2020-census-jobs-be-a-census-taker.html.

Schools as Partners
The Census Bureau has developed comprehensive resources for educators of all ages. The 2020 Census matters for our children’s schools and the children themselves. The 2020 Census count will play a vital role in how federal funds are distributed to communities each year for critical programs and services. The new Statistics in Schools (SIS) classroom activities and materials for the 2019-2020 school year spotlight the 2020 Census and the importance of making sure everyone is counted, especially children.  A variety of age-oriented activities and fun facts are available for educators to use in the classroom at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sis/resources/games/coloring.html .

Community Outreach Toolkit

The U.S. Census Bureau has produced a Community Outreach Toolkit (https://www.census.gov/partners/toolkit.pdf) which outlines how to make communication and outreach efforts as effective as possible. This quick guide is great reading for anyone looking to make a difference in their community to increase participation in the 2020 Census.

The Census on YouTube

Prefer to watch a video? The Census Bureau’s YouTube channel features videos on the basics from “Census Made Simple” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZAe8XYeNQ) to shorter Public Service Announcements on “Getting an Accurate Count” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZAe8XYeNQ and “Completing the 2020 Census Online with Language Guide” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXZAe8XYeNQ) . Visit the Census Bureau’s YouTube channel  at https://www.youtube.com/user/uscensusbureau to access these and more educational resources in video format.

Who to contact
For more information on Putnam County’s Census 2020 efforts, contact Barbara Barosa, AICP, Senior Planner at 845-878-3480 or Barbara.barosa@putnamcountyny.gov.