Starting today, the U.S. Census Bureau began knocking on various doors in Chaffee County asking them to complete the 2020 census. Why?
Because it is estimated that 44.3 percent of the households in our county have yet to respond to the 2020 Census.
“There’s a good chance that one of your friends or neighbors has yet to complete his/her census,” said Chaffee County U.S. Census Coordinator April Obholz Bergeler. “Please encourage those around you to take a few minutes to make a difference for all of us.”
In the past couple of weeks, census workers have been doing phone calls to Chaffee County residents within the area of the county known as Tract Three, around Johnson Village. Obholz Bergeler says those calls have slowed down; “only 103 completed calls within Tract 3 recently”.
She added that to increase county response rates, the towns are going to hold a competition from Aug. 23 to Aug.31. “The town with the largest increase in responses will be awarded three gift cards to local grocery stores. They can use them for a drawing,” said Obholz Bergeler. “We hope that will bump self-response rates.”
2020 Census Response rate: as of Aug. 6
Chaffee County 55.6
Buena Vista 54.7
Poncha Springs 51.9
This past week President Donald Trump announced that the timeframe to complete the census is being shortened by one month — ending Sept. 30 instead of Oct. 31. This makes it especially difficult in rural areas, where large numbers of under-counted people live in more remote areas, to complete an accurate count.
The United States Constitution requires that a census be taken every ten years of all residents of the country and responding to it is required of every resident. It does not require they be citizens, only that they be persons living in the county where counted. The census is used to determine the distribution of billions of dollars of aid for schools, human services transportation, and infrastructure projects. It is also used to determine the adjustment every decade of representation at state and federal government levels. The loss of even one person not counted in Chaffee is a loss to the operating budget of this county.