In an announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau, Coloradoan’s are assured that field operations for the 20202 Census resume this week across Colorado counties. For the health and safety of Census employees and the public, field staff will observe social distancing protocols and will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The public should be aware that U.S. Census Bureau field employees will begin dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at the front doors of households in areas that do not receive mail at their homes. They will have no interaction with residents; this field operation follows current federal health and safety guidelines and does not require interaction between households and Census Bureau employees.
While the launch of the 2020 census has been electronic, this door-to-door operation is intended to engage households that haven’t yet responded to the census. This is not an “I’ll respond if I feel like it” invitation. The census is a mandated requirement of the United States Constitution; required every ten years of every resident of the United States, whether you are a citizen or not.
Responding online with the Census ID or completing and returning the paper questionnaire helps ensure an accurate count of Colorado communities. It takes less than ten minutes to complete the nine-question census.
It’s important that people understand that completion of the census is a small personal action with enormous impact on local communities. Information from the census influences the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid that funds everything from education and local school lunch programs, to state and local transportation projects to local governments, police and fire departments, hospitals, and mental health support.
The census is also critically important in that it documents shifts in population, and it will determine the number of seats each state has in our congressional districts and representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The data collected will impact communities for the next decade.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19, the current deadline to respond to the 2020 Census is October 31, 2020. Households that have not yet responded should be aware that later this year, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to send census takers to visit Colorado households that have not responded to the 2020 Census, to help them complete questionnaires.
The Census Bureau is still looking for more census workers for its field operations.