Like cities around the country, tax-fueled West Valley cities have been spreading the “participate in the census” message for nearly a year.
The more people counted in each city, the more tax money it means.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, some picturing a census worker knocking on the door may be thinking, “Not me!”
But, long before anyone heard about the coronavirus, the U.S. Census Bureau was already planning the 2020 Census to be mainly online.
Less than 1% of people are expected to be counted in person.
According to the Census Bureau, “95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail.”
In March 2020, the online form will be available to complete through the U.S. Census Bureau. Information about how to respond online is being mailed to households in mid-March.
“Residents will receive notifications from the Census Bureau by mail beginning March 12 and need to respond by the end of April. The questionnaire can be completed online, by phone, or by mail and should take less than 10 minutes to complete,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, in a letter to community members.
He urged anyone with questions to contact Glendale’s 2020 Census outreach director Jenna Goad at 623-930-2870.
According to Mat Droge, a Glendale spokesman, an internal Census Implementation Team made up of Glendale staff meets regularly to continue planning and executing public outreach and communications plans and activities.
“Flyers, posters, and other information have been created and distributed,” Droge said. “Part of this distribution process has included contacting leaders or programs throughout the community.”
For more information, visit glendaleaz.com/census.
Additionally, Droge said, “Employees who interact with the community regularly, for example, customer service employees, have been trained on the basics of the census. Copies of the census questionnaire, in both English and Spanish, have been made available for the community to see ahead of time.”
Instructions on the mailings will advise residents on how to respond to the census online at azcensus2020.gov or by phone.
According to Gov. Doug Ducey, “Census data guides the distribution of more than $650 billion to states annually, resources to support critical programs and infrastructure in Arizona. Each person who is not counted is estimated to represent an $887 loss to Arizona in federal funding allocation. Even a one-percent undercount would represent a loss of $62 million per year for a decade — a total loss of at least $620 million.”
The Maricopa Association of Governments is doing outreach at the site icount2020.info.
“An accurate census count is critical to the region for a variety of reasons,” said Goodyear City Manager Julie Arendall, co-chair of the MAG Regional Census Communication Group. “Information from the Census helps fund 55 federal and state programs, with $675 billion in federal funding at stake. In Arizona, about $20 billion in state shared revenues are divided up based on population—it equates to almost $3,000 per person.”
The census is available in 12 non-English languages, with additional materials and assistance available in 59 languages.
The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.