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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, May 7, 2020 2 months ago

It’s not too late to complete your Census form

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The higher our 2020 Census count, the more federal funding we will receive.
by: Guest Writer

By Billie Wheeler

Volusia County Council District 2 Representative

Did you know that you can help Volusia County and our 16 municipalities unlock millions of dollars in federal funding? It’s easy. All you have to do is complete your 2020 Census questionnaire. 

It will only take about 10 minutes, and you can do it in one of three ways:

  1. Go to my2020Census.gov
  2. Call 844-330-2020
  3. Mail your paper census form

The Census Bureau has extended the deadline to August 14, but why wait? If you complete your census form now, you will prevent a knock on the door this summer. And nobody wants a knock on the door these days. 

So far, 59% of Volusia County households have responded. Now, that sounds rather low, but we are above the state and national rates, so that's good news. But we can do better than that!

So what is the Census, and why are we putting so much effort into it?

Every 10 years, the U.S. government conducts a count of the entire population to determine how Congressional representation will be apportioned and how much funding to allocate for more than 130 federal programs. That means that when you respond to the census, you are helping your community get its fair share of federal funds that go toward our schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, disaster assistance, affordable housing and many other vital programs. 

Just last month, Volusia County received $96.5 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, and this amount was based on our 2010 Census population count. The goal of the $2 trillion CARES Act is to keep businesses and individuals afloat during COVID-19 pandemic, and we were fortunate to receive these funds. 

The higher our 2020 Census count, the more federal funding we will receive. And the numbers we provide now will stay with us for the next 10 years!

With so much at stake for Volusia County, we need to ensure a complete and accurate census. Each of you plays a crucial role in census outreach. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to participate in Census 2020. If you have neighbors who are unable to complete their forms, give them a helping hand!

You may be concerned about your personal information getting out, but rest assured. It’s against the law for the U.S. Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. You can complete the questionnaire feeling confident that your privacy is protected. 

Learn more about the Census at Volusia.org/Census. Remember, Volusia County needs you! Only you can ensure that your family is counted. Together, we can shape our future, starting with the 2020 Census.

Billie Wheeler and Volusia County Council District 1 Representative Barbara Girtman are co-chairing the county’s Complete Count Committee, a group of civic leaders and volunteers who are promoting the Census across the county.

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