Why is the Census So Important?
By: Jasmine Espinal
On February 13, 2020 I attended a Census Awareness event hosted by the Massachusetts Office on Disability, Secretary Galvin’s office in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Census. There they spoke on Census policy and data collection. Did you know planning for the Census takes years; and that it’s ONLY done every 10 years? Could you imagine the population growth and/or change in 10 years? Think about it. A baby takes 9 months to arrive. How many babies are born in a year? In 10? What has changed in your home in 10 years? It makes sense. They need to be as accurate as possible. With the ever-changing and virtual world, we live in fear has taken ahold of many. But, why fear the Census? Some fear their information getting into the wrong hands’ others fear legal troubles. The information provided below will help understand the Census.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 I did a telephone interview with Marlene Sallo from the Disability Law Center. I wanted to reach out to her and see where the Census is right now during this pandemic. She says, “It is extremely important to collect an accurate Census for such things as Medical Care and MassHealth funding.” She says data completion isn’t over until July 31, 2020 but, with the COIVID-19 pandemic the date maybe extended. She says the mailings were still sent and have a personal link for your personal account. In Massachusetts, the Census will determine federal funding for the next 10 years. The funding will help provide public health programs and services, plan public transportation improvements, provide education grants
build shelters, clinics, and other centers that benefit the community. It will design facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children. The accuracy is just as important because it
affects funding for federal programs like SNAP, section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, Title 1 Grants, Education Grants to States for Students with Disabilities. It assists with planning health services for people with disabilities/Medicaid funding including, planning educational services for people with disabilities
Below I have provided links to remotely access the 2020 Census. Reach out to us if you’d like assistance with your Census.
Start Here/Census website: https://2020census.gov/en
Phone Response Guide: https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html
Paper (Mail) Response Guide: https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-mail.html
Disability Law Center: https://www.dlc-ma.org/the-2020-census-and-disability/
Massachusetts 2020 Census Secretary William Francis Galvin: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/census2020/index.html
Massachusetts Census Equity Fund: https://www.masscensusequity.org/
Census 2020 Operations publications: https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/2020/operations/planned-questions-2020-acs.pdf
2020 Census: Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Operation Project Plan: https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial/2020/program-management/2020-census-mobile-questionnaire-assistance-operation.pdf