Sometimes the smallest acts of civic engagement help justice to count. I think that Census2020 might be an example.
In another week or so, you and millions of others will receive in the mail a letter detailing how to submit your household’s 2020 census information online. Should you not choose to complete the form in that fashion, the Census Bureau will mail you a paper version. If, for some reason, you neglect to provide answers in that format, a census worker will eventually find his/her way to your home, to gather your information in person.
You probably know all about the value of this once-in-a-decade exercise in civic duty. So I won’t go into detail. But let you remind you about the results of widespread undercounting—especially for marginal segments of the population of this country. Uncounted and therefore under-represented in the final results, people who are vulnerable may not be taken care of, given a chance to break out of poverty or offered hope. That’s just plain wrong.
This under-counting doesn’t have to happen. That’s where you come in!
First, and most importantly: Complete the forms yourself. Online or on paper, answer each items and submit the form, or use the envelope that comes with the paper version.
Moreover, think of people you know who might need extra help. They may be older neighbors, recent immigrants, people who have cognitive impairments, friends or family members living in older adult facilities, people who live alone, people whose English skills are limited or whose multiple jobs don’t allow them time or energy to complete these forms.
You can remind everyone you know to answer the census questions. If you are part of an organization that reaches out to constituents, clients or visitors who might disregard this matter, think how you could organize an informal census-completion service as part of your mission. If your church includes ethnic ministries, set a time to inform participants about this process—including its value for the distribution of our governmental benefits and representation in the Congress. If you have time, volunteer to be a one-on-one helper or translator.
Part of living fully at this time in history may include being part of this census-taking process.
A just counting….!
For further information and asssistance, see http://2020census.gov.