You Count. Be Counted.
Did you know that April 1, 2020 is Census Day? Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau is required by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) to conduct a count everyone living in the United States, providing everyone with an opportunity to help shape the foundation of our society. A fair and accurate census count is essential to numerous aspects of civic life, from allocation of billions of dollars in federal funds in Kansas City, MO alone, to political representation at all levels of government.
Census data is used to inform smart decision-making in government, commerce, and the economy. Federal officials rely on the data to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities, as well as to determine the fair reapportionment of congressional seats. State and local officials use the data in redistricting processes to draw representative boundaries for federal, state, and local districts. They also use them to make decisions about infrastructure, such as where to build a new school or road. Similarly, local entrepreneurs utilize census data to decide whether and where to start or relocate a business.
Kansas City is working with community organizations to engage residents, regardless of country of origin, age, gender, race, and ethnicity, to know about the Census and why it is so vital to have a complete county. As you and your household prepare to complete the Census, remember it is easy, safe, and important.
Completing the Census is easy. In March 2020, the Census Bureau will send postcards to most households with instructions on how to participate online. You can also respond via phone or mail. Filling out the Census on your own time means that you don’t have to wait until a census worker knocks on your door. There are just seven questions and the Census should only take about 10 minutes to complete.
Completing the Census is safe. Census Bureau worker takes a lifetime oath to protect confidentiality and the Census Bureau ensures that the data identifying respondents or their household not be released or shared for 72 years. The Census will not ask your citizenship status, Social Security number, or for payment of any kind.
Completing the Census is important. When we secure an accurate census count, we ensure that our communities get their fair share of the more than $675 billion available annually in federal funding for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and more. It is estimated that approximately $4,700 annually in federal funds are allocated per each household in Missouri. For every person not counted, we could lose $1,272 per year. This adds up and an undercount could mean potentially $20.5 million lost in Jackson County and roughly between $2-5 million in each of Clay, Cass, Platte counties.
Complete Count Committee. Mayor Quinton Lucas is working to appoint a Complete Count Committee to encourage a full count of Kansas City, Missouri’s population in the 2020 Census. The Committee will publicize the Census, inform the public on how to participate, and share the importance of the Census with individuals and different parts of the community. More information about the Committee and how to get involved is coming soon.