Tucker’s Census Count could have a Big Impact on it's Future
One of the big projects the City of Tucker’s staff will be working on in close partnership with DeKalb County in 2020 is getting residents to participate in the United States Census Count. While you won’t see much in the way of paperwork or questionnaires until the spring, local leaders have been working behind the scenes with federal Census representatives for several months to learn about changes to the process and how best to get a complete count of those who live here.
Before you are inundated with mailers, television, radio, and print ads, here are some things you need to know about the 2020 Census.
The concept of a census is nothing new; in fact, it dates back to Biblical times. Here in the United States, the Constitution mandates that every citizen be counted every 10 years. Starting in 1790, the federal government has attempted to keep an accurate count of how many people are living in the country.
Changing with the Times
If you’re a veteran of the U.S. Census and you’re used to receiving a form in the mail, sitting down at your kitchen table, filling it out and mailing it back to the government, you can still do that. But this upcoming Census will also have a digital component. Residents will get a postcard inviting them to go online and enter a unique code that will allow them to enter their information without killing any trees. They will also have the option of completing the survey by telephone.
Residents = Resources
One of the biggest questions about the Census is “why?” Why is this important to my community? Why is this worth my time? Why does the federal government put so much time and so many resources into this?
The answer is that there is a significant local impact based on Census data. The Census Bureau estimates that more than $675 billion in federal funds and grants doled out to localities will be based on Census findings. That money will go toward things like schools, hospitals and public works. It could also have an impact on congressional redistricting, as some areas of the country gain or lose seats due to increases or decreases in their population.
Promise of Privacy
Some folks don’t want to participate in the Census because they don’t want the government having or sharing their information. You should know that it is codified in federal law that the Census Bureau cannot share your answers to the Census survey with any other government agency. They also are forbidden from sharing responses that could identify you or your family.