The 2020 Census is well underway and about 62% of households across the country have responded online by phone or by mail since invitations began arriving in mid-March.
As I monitor response rates in my Council District, I am particularly concerned that the district’s most undercounted census tract is Deer Valley with just 44% of residents responding to the 2020 Census.
Throughout the city, responses are monitored by census tracts, which are small geographic regions, generally sized between 1,200 and 8,000 people with the intention of being maintained so that statistical comparisons can be made from census to census. Most of the census tracts in my District have reached a 65% response rate, with the city overall at about 60% of households that have responded.
A complete count is critical to determining how taxpayer dollars will be returned to our community for the next decade.
Undercounts literally translate to lost revenue for much needed programs in our community. Programs such as public safety planning, including police and fire stations; hospitals and healthcare; food assistance programs; help for the homeless; highway planning; construction; public transit; emergency management; education and Head Start; school lunches; disaster response; and housing assistance are all funded through census counts and can be allocated to specific census tracts. That’s why it is so important that we get as much participation as possible, not just from the city as a whole, but from each census tract.
Simply put, if you don’t participate, we will be overlooked and we cannot afford to miss out on any federal dollars for essential services.
If residents need help responding in a language other than English, Census Bureau staff can provide phone numbers or assistance responding online in 12 other languages. Staff will also have guides available in 59 languages that walk people through how to respond to the English questionnaire.
Over the next several weeks, Census staff will begin to visit households who haven’t responded. All staff will carry an ID badge with their name, photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark seal, and an expiration date. They will have an official Census Bureau-issued bag and tablet.
Please take a moment to help your community for the next 10 years— complete your 2020 Census and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census: iCount2020.info; 1-844-330-2020 English, 1-844-468-2020 for Spanish; or by mail. If you have any questions, call my office at 602-262-7444.
Councilwoman Williams serves as the District 1 representative, which encompasses northwest Phoenix from Northern Avenue to New River Road and the Interstate 17 to 67th Avenue.