Rosemary Kofler: Why it’s important to fill out the 2020 census

Published: 2/12/2020 1:20:23 PM

In mid-March every household will receive a letter in the mail with an invitation to respond to the 2020 census. It is essential that everyone is counted. A complete count of each person in our community will determine how much of the federal funding we will get over the next 10 years.

More than $675 billion in federal funds is distributed to states and communities based on the census count. That money is spent on schools, public works, roads, hospitals and other vital programs.

Filling out the census accurately helps to ensure that we receive our fair share of the funds that our community deserves. The count also determines how many seats each state gets in Congress, and the basis of the Electoral College. Also, the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn based on the count. Everybody’s count is essential!

You can respond by mail, phone or email. If you do not respond to the initial letter, reminder letters will be sent. If there is no response by April 20-27, a census worker will come to your door to help you complete the form.

Whether by mail, email, or phone, all responses are safe, confidential, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can be used for statistics only and in no other way. Your information cannot be used by a government agency or court — not by the FBI, CIA, DHS, or ICE.

The census is safe and secure, but be aware of scams! The census will never request personal financial information, your Social Security number, credit card, money, donations or anything on behalf of a political party.

If you need help or know someone who may need help filling out the census form, contact the Amherst Town Hall.

Rosemary Kofler


The writer is chairs the Amherst Council on Aging.

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