If you ignored the 2020 Census survey that came in the mail in the past few weeks, you’ll be able to fill out and submit the form online before census workers come knocking on your door.
“For the first time in history, everybody can do the census online. That’s going to save billions of dollars,” regional 2020 Census representative Mark S. Boyd said during a recent presentation to Greene County commissioners.
Residents will receive invitations via U.S. mail this month to fill out the census survey online, but if no survey is received, census workers will start visiting homes in May to collect the data, according to Boyd.
“If you don’t want people coming to your house, you should do the census self-response,” he said.
In addition to the challenges of accurately counting certain populations — such as homeless people, children, senior citizens and college students — Boyd said there are further challenges because “there is distrust in government.”
“There are declining response rates to all surveys, not just census bureau survey but other surveys in the general public. People are distrustful. They don’t trust the government,” he said.
Counties and municipalities are being encouraged to form Complete Count Committees, which will be tasked with getting the message out to local residents about completing the census form. Schools will also receive materials for teachers to connect lessons with information about the 2020 Census.
“Kids, we’ve found, are really instrumental in increasing response rates, because once a kid understands the importance of the census and they should do it, they go home and tell their parents, ‘have you done it yet? Have you done it yet?’” Boyd said. “It’s a like a kid in a car, ‘are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ They bug their parents to death to make sure the census is completed.”
Census data is used to determine how federal dollars are distributed in various programs and how many seats are allocated for each state in the U.S. Congress.
Greene County Planning Director Devon Shoemaker has been tapped as the county’s 2020 Census liaison.
“I see this as a massive, internal marketing campaign where we can utilize our existing resources … our established social media accounts, billing stuffers,” Shoemaker said.
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The local census office for the Miami Valley will be opened in the Dayton area later this year, and 50 to 60 temporary jobs are available, ranging from enumerators who can make $13/hour plus mileage reimbursements up to $32.50/hour for office managers.
The jobs will expire by the time the new census data is delivered to President Donald Tump in December 2020, Boyd said.
To apply, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.
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