The US Census is underway! You may have already received something in the mail detailing how to participate. If not, keep an eye on your mailbox. The Census takes place every 10 years, and is an essential tool for keeping power and resources in the hands of the people, so it’s important to make sure all of us are counted.
Why should you participate in the Census?
- Census numbers are used to determine funding for vital programs like Medicaid, SNAP, affordable housing, and highway maintenance projects.
- Census numbers are also used to decide how congressional districts are drawn. It’s common for several states to lose and gain House seats after a Census.
- Washington is one of 21 states that use census data to apportion our state legislative districts, so if your area has low participation you could end up underrepresented in Olympia. Tell your neighbors!
- Black, Hispanic, and Native American people are historically under-counted in the Census, as well as children and renters. This has led to these communities, which skew lower income, losing resources and representation to non-Hispanic whites and homeowners.
- The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 16 million people were not counted or possibly incorrectly counted in the 2010 Census – generally people who experience multiple forms of oppressions.
- We need to let our representatives know where we are, who we are, and how we live. These numbers give them a clearer idea of what their constituents need.
- There are no immigration questions on the 2020 Census, despite efforts to include such questions by the Trump Administration.
- You should include anyone who is staying in your home whether or not they are on the lease. Your landlord will not see your answers.
- In fact, all of your answers to Census questions are confidential.
When and where can I fill out my census form?
- Starting March 12th, once you have received official census mailings with your household’s User ID Number you’ll be able to complete your census forms at https://my2020census.gov/
- You may also fill out the forms on paper and mail them in, or by phone.
Remember, it’s through our numbers that we build power as a Union. Every single one of us must be counted!