5 Ways to Support the Census and Your Community
In our last census blog post, we discussed the importance of the Census to our communities and the state. It’s undeniable that the Census affects every one of us. If you’ve read this far, you’re likely thinking, “Okay, Jessica. I get it. The Census is important! What can I do?”
Here’s 5 ways you can support the census and your community. right. now.
#1) Fill out the Census questionnaire for your household.
Give 10 minutes. That’s all it takes to fill out the Census questionnaire for your household. It is the biggest impact you can possibly have.
Here’s how to complete the Census:
Go to my2020census.gov and click ‘Start Questionnaire’. You’ll be prompted to enter a 12 digit Census ID that was mailed to you or left at your door. If you don’t have your Census ID, it’s okay. There’s a button that says ‘If you don’t have your Census ID, click here.’
Either way, the website will then move you through a series of 12 questions. You can click here to preview the questions before filling out the questionnaire.
Other Ways to Complete the Census: You can also complete the Census by phone. The most common two phone numbers are for residents of the 50 states and Washington D.C. To call in English, dial 844-330-2020 and para llamar en espanol, usa la numero 844-468-2020. There are about a dozen other languages available by phone that can be found here.
Finally, some areas will receive a paper questionnaire that can be returned by mail. If you do not complete the Census online or by phone, you will also receive a paper questionnaire. Complete it in blue or black ink and use the provided envelope to mail it back.
Important Note: Make sure you include ALL the members of your physical household from newborn babies to grandparents that lived with you most of the time as of April 1st, 2020, in your response. Note that if you have a college student who would have been living away at school whether on- or off-campus on April 1, 2020, had it not been for COVID-19 shutdowns, that student should be counted at school where they would have otherwise been living. You can read more info on who you should count and where everyone should count at this link.
#2) Talk to your friends and family about the Census.
Ask others if they’ve completed their Census questionnaire and encourage them to do so. It might feel a little odd at first, but we will all thank you later for asking. Everyone is so busy and it can be easy to forget. Your reminder might just be the difference between them getting counted or not.
#3) Share accurate information about the Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau has tons of information available to you at 2020census.gov. You can find information from data privacy to how census data is used to frequently asked questions about how to complete the Census. Additionally, you may want to share news articles or fact-checked blog posts that you find interesting or helpful.
#4) Share your participation with your social networks.
Our networks are deep and wide when it comes to the digital world. Make a post about how you completed your questionnaire. Share a video like this one entitled #GetCountedInIllinois about the importance of the Census to each of us. Let people know how fast and easy you found it to be or consider sharing facts about the importance to the community.
#5) Join the movement on social media.
Add a frame to your Facebook Profile photo. The Aurora Regional Chamber created several frames to help you tell your network that you’ve been counted. Simply click on your Facebook profile photo and chose ‘Add a Frame’. You can then search ‘Census 2020 – I’ve Been Counted’ or ‘Aurora Counts 2020 – I’ve Been Counted’ to find a frame. You can set the frame to show for a specific amount of time or come back later and remove it once the census has commenced.
And here’s a bonus step: By following this link, you’ll be able to see your community’s current response rate. At the time of this writing, Illinois’ response rate is 52.2% and ahead of the nation by 4.3%. The City of Aurora is trending above both the city and the state at 54.5% of households responding so far.
We can’t let up steam now, though. With around 50% of the households in the nation yet to be counted, let’s all pledge to set aside 10 minutes today to take at least one step on this list.
I count, you count, and we all need to be counted.