Lt. Governor helps Milford kick off 2020 census effort
The message from state and local officials who gathered in Milford Tuesday morning was that it will be safe to fill out the 2020 census, and it’s important to complete the form so the state, and its municipalities, receive their share of federal dollars.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz has been visiting communities around the state to talk about the upcoming census, and her visit to Milford was one of those stops.
She talked about the need for census data, and said there are a few challenges regarding the 2020 count, including misinformation about a citizenship question.
The Supreme Court ruled that a citizenship question will not be included on the 2020 census, but Bysiewicz said the issue has created distrust.
“We need to let people know the census is safe,” she said.
Invitations to participate in the census will be mailed March 12, 2020, according to Keith Goralski, media specialist for the New York Regional Census Center. Census forms will be mailed between April and May to those who did not complete the information online.
“Be assured the census is safe,” Goralski said, explaining that federal law protects all information the Census Bureau collects.
By May, people who haven’t completed their forms can expect a knock on the door from a census enumerator working to gather the information.
Now, census workers are conducting address canvassing to be sure they have correct addresses for residents, Goralski added.
This is the first year there is an online option for completing the census, and that is another challenge, Bysiewicz said, because there are people without internet access.
But state and local Complete Count Committees will be working with libraries and senior centers to fill that gap and provide computer access for people who need it.
The 2020 census will be used to determine nearly $11 billion of federal funding for Connecticut, Bysiewicz said, adding that these federal funds support state programs like Medicaid, Pell Grants, children’s health insurance, highway planning and construction and nutritional assistance.
“It’s all based on this very important count,” Bysiewicz said.
Companies look at census information, too, when deciding where they want to start businesses or build houses. Redistricting and government representation is also based on census figures, she added.
Gary Johnson, president of the United Way of Milford, said many of the agencies the United Way supports rely on state and federal grants, and he encouraged people to fill out their forms when they arrive.
Connecticut launched its Connecticut Complete Count Committee Feb. 4, and Bysiewicz chairs the committee.
Individual municipalities are also forming their own Complete Count Committees. In Milford, Mayor Ben Blake said some people have been named to the committee already and more appointments are expected.
For more information, go to census.gov. The United States Census Bureau is looking for people to work as enumerators and in other positions, and the temporary work pays $21 an hour. People interested can go to 2020census.gov/jobs.