U.S. Census Day coming soon

Thursday, October 31, 2019 0 Comments

U.S. Census Day coming soon
The 2020 U.S. Census Day is approaching, and Miami Lakes officials want to make sure that come spring, every town resident participates in the process.
“Each person counted in a home represents about $50 in revenue that comes back to the town, through various programs such as the [Miami-Dade County] Half-Penny [transportation] sales tax and state revenue sharing,” Councilman Joshua Dieguez told The Miami Laker.
Dieguez said his goal is to make sure the town’s entire population is counted.
Dieguez wants the town’s response during the tally that begins in April to be higher than it was 10 years ago, when 82 percent of residents participated.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the nation’s population is counted every 10 years.

What’s at stake

Residents are counted and their responses are used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds is spent each year across the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Those funds support services and infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, road improvements and other public works projects.
“If we were to count just an additional 200 residents, that represents $10,000 each year in additional money that can spent on sidewalk repairs, tree planting and replacement, park improvements and new streetlights,” Dieguez said.
“Imagine if we have 500 new residents as part of the census, [which means] $25,000 each year?” he said.
“It’s a no brainer to make sure we fill out the census form.”
Congressional representation is based on population, too, and those numbers will be delivered to the president by Dec. 31, 2020.

It couldn’t be easier

The federal government has made it simple for people to participate in the national survey.
For the first time, residents will be able to access and fill out the form online, or use the mail or a telephone, the government said.

Miami Lakes’ profile

As of July 1, 2018, there were 31,628 people living in Miami Lakes’ 6.5 square miles, according to the bureau.
About 85 percent of the town’s residents were Hispanic; 11.5 percent were White, non-Hispanic and 2.5 percent were African-American.
Between 2013-2017, the town had 9,787 households, with 3.17 persons per residence, the bureau report said.

How to ensure a full tally

Clarisell De Cardenas, the town’s communications and community affairs director, said Miami Lakes is using all of its resources, including social media, to inform residents about the census.
“The town will promote the importance of being counted through its community influencers such as the mayor, council members, committee members and the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce,” De Cardenas said.
Assisting Miami Lakes is Miami-Dade County’s 2020 Census Task Force, which includes some town residents.

De Cardenas said they were recruited at a Miami Lakes job fair in June, and in August members of the bureau trained them at town hall.
The task force began spreading the word at a hurricane awareness fair, during home improvement expos and at meetings of Miami Lakes homeowners’ associations and town committees.

What about new homes?

De Cardenas said the task force will participate in the New Construction Program, which provides the U.S. Census Bureau an update to the residential address list.
They will record where homes were being built after March 1, 2018 and whether completion is expected by April 1, or 2020 Census Day.
The program distributes federal dollars each year to help communities plan for future needs.
De Cardenas said the town has done well with previous counts.
“In my conversations with census officials, Miami Lakes has historically had high response rates,” she said.

Citizenship concerns

But an Oct. 19 Associated Press report about the U.S. Census Bureau’s request for private information which may include citizenship data has raised some concerns.
The AP reported that the bureau is asking states for drivers’ license records and has made a new request for information about those who receive government assistance.
Civil rights advocates fear that President Donald Trump’s previous effort to make citizenship status a question on the census may scare some people away from participating in the count, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision this year that the question can’t be included.
Dieguez said it’s safe for residents to participate in the census since the court denied including the citizenship question on the census.
“It shouldn’t diminish the town’s population response since its unrelated to the census count,” he said. “The information sought by the administration is information that is separate and apart from the census.”

Who are you?

What the questionnaire will ask:

--How many people are living or staying in your home and how they’re related;
--Whether your home is owned or rented;
--The gender of each person in the home, their ages and race and ethnicity.

What it won’t ask:
---Your Social Security number, for money or donations or bank or credit card account numbers.
For more info:
2020census.gov or
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