The United States Census is coming up in 2020 and the Sumner County Complete Count Committee is meeting regularly to gather information about the census to share with the community.
Partnership Specialist with the U. S. Census NaaDzama O Ashby met with the committee Sept. 24 to give members updates and to gather information from the cities of Sumner County.
The committee is designed to gather information about the census in order to educate the community on the importance of being counted.
Currently the U. S. Census is involved in address canvassing to identify all houses; especially new construction. Census workers have been employed to knock on doors of certain houses to verify the address and the number of people who live in the home. If no one answers the door, the worker will leave a door knocker describing what they were there to do and will take a picture of the house. This phase began around Aug. 5 and should end by mid-October.
The next phase is the Group Quarters Operations in which facilities that house large groups will be contacted to gather information about the facility. These facilities include such group quarters as correctional facilities for adults, nursing homes, college/university student housing, military quarters, and group homes.
Ashby said, “Each community has challenges and we will work with the community officials. We will work with anyone who will work with us.”
The census information is used to reapportion the United States House of Representatives. The number of seats each state gets can rise or fall as a result of the census. Statewide the census is used to redraw boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. Allocation of funds is determined by the census.
According to the U. S. Government, the distribution of federal funds to states and communities will be based on data collected from the 2020 Census. The federal government distributes more than $675 billion per year to communities. These federal funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. Businesses use the data to make decisions regarding where to build factories, offices and stores which create jobs. Local governments use the census numbers for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Individuals benefit from federal dollars that affect quality of life issues and consumer advocacy. It is important for communities to get everyone counted in order to get their fair share of federal funds.
For more information on the census visit: census.gov.
The next meeting of the committee will be Nov. 19.