The spring of 2020 will kick off our nation’s next census. For the first time, people will be able to respond to the Census online and over the phone in 12 non-English languages, in addition to the paper questionnaire. Census surveys are 100% confidential; they cannot be shared with immigration authorities or law enforcement agencies.
As Timothy Olson, U.S. Census Bureau Associate Director for Field Operations stated in a recent planning publication:
Responses to the census are critically important to our nation’s future. For the next 10 years, responses will determine how we are represented in Congress and will guide the allocation of billions of federal dollars to states and local and tribal governments each year for infrastructure and services such as schools, transportation projects, public safety, and health care.
Here at the Planning Commission, our staff has been preparing for the 2020 count over the past few years. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to reach millions of people, which is why local governments play a critical role in the census counts. Our staff maintains a database of every physical address within Warren County. Last summer, we collectively worked to verify a number of questionable addresses, which were then vetted through the Census Bureau, to then come back to our office for further verification. Additionally, one of our planners is serving on the local Complete Count Committee, which is working to formulate effective marketing, outreach, and communication methods specific to our area.