By Kathleen Holz, Ridgefield Board of Eduction member and Ridgefield Complete Count member
As all of us are taking care of our families and selves in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’d like to insert a public service message about the 2020 Census. April 1 is Census Day and the Ridgefield Complete Count Committee wants to ensure that every member of our community is counted. This non-partisan, non-political committee is comprised of representatives from community groups throughout Ridgefield; I am the Board of Education representative. Our primary goal is to increase awareness and motivate all Ridgefield residents to respond to the 2020 Census. We are the census ambassadors for our town.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that every ten years the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provides the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs and services such as Title 1, special education, school lunches and more. This roughly equals $3,000 in federal spending for every Connecticut resident; uncounted residents can result in missed resources for ten years. Additionally, the data are used to accurately determine the number of representatives each state has in Congress and inform the redrawing of congressional district boundaries.
This month the U.S. Census Bureau will be sending each household a notice in the mail to complete the 2020 Census. You will be asked basic information about who lives in your household, including children. Families whose college students are now living in your home on April 1 because of the Covid-19 pandemic need to be counted as members of your household. You will not be asked for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card information, citizenship information or anything on behalf of a political party. You can respond online, phone or mail, your preference. The goal is to ensure that everyone living at an address on April 1, 2020 is counted. By law, responses are confidential and the answers are strictly used to produce statistics. Please look for this important piece of mail, and respond in a timely manner; our entire community will benefit! Also, due to the present health crisis, the U.S. Census has suspended all field operations for at least two weeks, beginning March 18th.
Remember to look for your letter from the Census 2020 Bureau if it hasn’t already arrived; your response will help to shape the future of Ridgefield. Our town and schools depend on your involvement in this civic responsibility. Everybody Counts!
If you have any questions about the 2020 Census, please visit 2020census.gov. Be safe, well and self isolate.
The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee provides the column.