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April 3, 2020
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City of RP Updates

Darrin Jenkins
Twenty-four times country has counted
February 21, 2020

I’m excited to announce that we are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to support the 2020 Census. As a partner, we will be working to make sure our community is accurately represented in the upcoming count.

The Constitution mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census marks the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

In mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. It is important that you participate because the census data helps determine federal funding and congressional representation. They also are used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed each year to support vital programs in states and communities across the country. These funds shape local health care, housing, education, transportation, employment and public policy.

As the 2020 Census approaches, we will continue to share information about how you can make sure our community is fully represented. In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. Responding should take less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee.

Your information is confidential and strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any census bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. 

Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding our community receives. The census bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data. 

It is important to know that the census bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. Further, during the 2020 Census, the census bureau will never ask for the following: your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, money, or donations. If someone visits your home on behalf of the 2020 Census, make sure to verify their identity.  Contact a local census bureau representative at 800-923-8282 if you still have questions about their identity.

Make sure our community is accurately represented in the 2020 Census. Respond, help spread the word, and encourage others to participate in the census. Visit 2020census.gov to learn more about the 2020 Census. Together we can help shape the future of our community.