How You Can Earn $18,000 for Your Community in 10 Easy Minutes!
Have you responded to the 2020 Census yet? It’s easy, and important to you and your community!
Although the Census doesn’t (yet!) explicitly ask about our sexual orientation and gender identity (beyond the M-F binary, alas), it is still critical for us to be counted on the 2020 Census. Read more about how and why to respond to the Census below.
Responding to the Census is Easy
For most people, it will take only about ten minutes to fill out the Census (it might take longer if you have a big family.) Your responses are secure, and will never be used against you in any way. All you have to do to submit your responses is go to 2020Census.gov and click on the big green RESPOND button.
By the way, there’s a question-by-question breakdown of the Census here, which will tell you what the questions are, and explain how to answer, and what your answers will be used for later. It also shows you what the questions look like on the paper form, if you are answering that way.
Once you are at the online form, you should use the ID number that was mailed to your address in March or April. Don’t worry if you can’t find that number, or you never got one. Just click on the link right below the blue LOG IN button, and it’ll take you to the Address Verification page where you can tell them your mailing address. If you don’t have a regular mailing address, that’s ok too. You should enter the nearest address to where you spent most of your time as of April 1, 2020.
Why You Should Fill Out the Census
There are many reasons why you should fill out the Census. Here are just a few:
No Government Workers Knocking on Your Door!
The Census is for EVERYONE, not just citizens. (Remember, your Census answers cannot be used against you!) If government officials knocking on your door make you nervous, the best thing to do is to respond to the Census online or by phone. If you don’t fill it out, someone will be knocking on your door in a month or two!
Remember: the more people who do the survey online (or by phone or paper form), the fewer people have to go door to door to do non-response follow-up in the midst of COVID-19!
Not Being Counted Costs Your Community $18,000!
We need to be counted so our communities can get access to federal funds for programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and public housing (and the San Mateo County Pride Center!) For each person who does not take the census in our state, we lose $1,800 per year. This adds up to $18,000 over the next 10 years for every person not counted.
Remember: Kids count, too! If there’s a baby in your household, born on or before April 1, 2020, then they should be counted, along with all the other kids and adults.
Not sure if you’ve been counted already? Go take the Census again online or by phone. Census employees have ways to identify and remove duplicate responses later in the process. It’s better to be counted twice, than to leave someone out of the count. $18,000 better!
Census Data Is About Political Power
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation for our state, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact our communities for the next decade.
Yes, we know that the Census leaves us — LGBTQ+ folks — out of the count in many ways. Meghan Maury, policy director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which runs the Queer the Census campaign said “The data we get from the census won’t be representative of everyone in our community,” and “We want LGBTQ folks to know that census data is used to allocate political power.”
In fact, 2020 is the first year that LGBTQ+ folks have explicitly appeared in the official Census at all. This year’s Census asks respondents (aka Person 1, usually the person filling out the form) the standard question about their relationship to each person they live with. For the first time, however, in addition to “opposite-sex husband/wife/spouse” and “opposite-sex unmarried partner,” two more new options are included: “same-sex husband/wife/spouse”, and “same-sex unmarried partner.” According to Queer the Census, this change will improve knowledge about the “number of same-sex couples that are raising kids, the geography of where same-sex couples live, and the race and ethnicity of people in same-sex couples. This in turn will help policymakers better understand at least the cohabiting part of the LGBT+ community.” (1)
Want to speak up about including more genders next time, or about other LGBTQ+ issues? Learn more about the #QueertheCensus campaign at http://queerthecensus.org
Still Have Questions About the Census? Although we can’t do our Census Questionnaire Assistance Kiosk in person at the Center (yet!) as we’d originally planned, you can still get help!
To start, there’s a great FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions list — on the Census site itself: https://2020census.gov/en/help.html
No habla Inglés? Usted puede completar su formulario por internet, por teléfono o por correo. Responde en Español: https://2020census.gov/es.html
To help you respond, the Census Bureau also offers web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including Spanish, Tagalog, and American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print. Visit Language Support to learn more.
Call Our Census Questionnaire Assistance Kiosk Person
If you’d like to speak to someone in our community by phone, you may contact Dawn Davidson, our Census QAK Program Manager,
M-Tu-Th-F 10a – 7p, at 650-887-7113, or by email
at email@example.com. She works half-time, so if she doesn’t answer the phone immediately, leave a message, and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.
Don’t be silenced! Take the #2020Census. #WeCount
Dawn Davidson, and the staff of the San Mateo County Pride Center
Check out this nifty video Dawn created explaining the importance of the Census- https://tinyurl.com/DawnCensus[Art from @fwdtogether. Image description: Hand-lettered text says: “Imagine a World Where We All Count”. Around it is a circle of Black and brown faces, a tree, houses, a bus and a bridge, fresh food and school supplies.]