A Q&A with J.P. Nicolaides, Lead for the Red Bank Complete Count Committee and member of Red Bank’s Human Relations Advisory Committee
The Red Bank Complete Count Committee is a broad spectrum coalition of communit
While we have a way to go for the complete count, as of Friday, May 8, Red Bank’s response rate is 56.7 percent (the national rate is 58.1 percent; New Jersey’s is 59.8 percent).
Although currently we are all appropriately focused on the global pandemic, this communication is intended to remind everyone how important this year’s census is and of the implications an incomplete count will have on national, state and local communities. The time to respond is NOW – it will shape our future in so many ways.
WHY IS THE CENSUS SO IMPORTANT?
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be taken every 10 years to count all people – both citizens and noncitizens – living in the United States. An accurate count of the population serves at the basis for fair political representation and plays a vital role in many areas of public life.
The results of the census will show where communities need new schools, clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults and children. The results will inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health service and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
If all residents in Red Bank and New Jersey are not counted, we lose our fair share of federal funding and political representation for the next decade.
WHO NEEDS TO BE COUNTED?
Every person living in your home as of April 1, 2020 must be included in the count. Age doesn’t matter – nonfamily doesn’t matter – legal status doesn’t matter.
IS THE CENSUS CONFIDENTIAL
100%! The census is completely confidential. There are laws that prevent sharing of census data that protect anonymity. Count everyone!
HOW DO I FILE?
For the first time ever, the 2020 Census offers three ways to respond – you can file online, by phone or by mail.
People can respond in 12 non-English languages over the phone or online. To file online, go to https://my2020census.gov/
In addition, there are guides and resources for an additional 59 non-English languages – there is an individual phone number for each language and the census worker will answer the phone in that language and translate the census questions for the caller.
HAS THE COVID-19 HAD AN IMPACT ON THE COUNT?
Field operations have been suspended. At this time, census workers will not be going door-to-door to follow up on the households that have not yet responded. As of today, the door to door work has been delayed until the end of May and will continue through mid-August.
The cost of remediation of the Covid-19 pandemic will certainly have an impact on local budgets, which is why it is even more important to respond online, by phone or by mail TODAY.
WHAT CAN RED BANK RESIDENTS DO TO HELP?
Every time you talk to a neighbor, friend, family member and even strangers – remind them to be counted in the census.
Remember these three things:
It helps our students and our community.