Michelle’s Corner 9.1.20
Everyone Has to Count
The year 2020 has been, to put it mildly, a unique time in our country. I’m sure I don’t need to list all the ways that we’ve all had to adapt or learn new skills or changed our habits to adjust to this, that and the other thing. Unfortunately, 2020 SHOULD have been special for a very important reason that has gotten somewhat lost among the pandemic response and drive towards increased social justice.
The US Census is conducted every ten years and is a national activity defined by the US Constitution. It is intended to count every single person living in the country, identifying where they are which is used to allocate representation at the national level, disbursement of funding for infrastructure, and generally get an accurate picture of the challenges facing each state and county so that solutions can be developed.
From my perspective as a leader of an agency focused on serving the unhoused, an inaccurate census means less money from HUD to provide permanent housing to our consumers. From my personal perspective, an inaccurate count can mean underfunding schools for my kids, support for roads and other infrastructure projects, and making my voice heard through my US Representative.
Everyone. Has. To. Count.
It doesn’t matter your race, your documentation, your age, your gender, your political persuasion, your religion. You need to be counted to provide Oregon and Lane County the voice it needs to advocate for what we must have for a vibrant, growing community. The Census is bound by law to keep your answers confidential, providing answers only on a statistical basis with no information released that can match your identity.
In the past, US Census workers have been able to go from house to house, knocking on doors to get the information they need. COVID-19 and the challenges in keeping people safe from passing the illness unwittingly have proved to be…difficult, yet if this census returns flawed data, the pandemic will only be the beginning of ten years of underfunding to our services.
But it’s not too late!
There is a website you an visit that can help you be counted: www.2020Census.gov is an easy click away. It really doesn’t take too long to provide the information to be part of this project. If you’ve already been counted, great! Now advocate to your friends and family to do their part, too.
Everyone. Has. To. Count. Everyone needs to have their voice heard!