Getting a complete count of every adult and child in the City of Apache Junction during the 2020 Census helps plan for future growth and funnel federal funds to the municipality.
“Funding of federal and state programs are determined by the number of citizens in each community. So, it is important that we have an accurate count to ensure that we receive back the money that is meant for our community to serve the needs of our citizens,” Apache Junction City Councilman Jeff Struble said.
“The upcoming Census is important because some (Community Development Block) grants and matching funds hinge on this data,” Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy said.
As of July 1, 2018, there are 41,739 people living in Apache Junction, but on Census Day of April 1, 2010, the population was 35,840, according to census.gov/quickfacts/apachejunctioncityarizona.
That gathered data helps the city plan for the future.
“It is also important for our ability to properly plan for the future of our community as far as growth in services and changing demographics of our city,” Councilman Struble said. “We need to prepare for infrastructure and services that our citizens will need in the future. It also helps us to attract business and economic growth and education/fire/utility expansion.”
Developers can also benefit from the information, Al Bravo, chair of the Apache Junction’s Complete Count Committee and the city’s public information officer, said.
“An accurate count also is critical to developers and business interests looking to move into or expand their presence in the city,” he said.
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the U.S. and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands)--- once, only once, and in the right place, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, according to census.gov.
The response to the 2020 Census is important and helps ensure that more than $675 billion in federal funds is directed to the right places to support education, roads, health care, firefighting and more each year. Many decisions about where and how to allocate funding are based on census data, according to the website.
The census is conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data collected determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities, the website states.
By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. There will be three options for responding: online, by phone and by mail.
The local Complete Count Committee includes members of the business community, nonprofits, community leaders and city staff.
In addition to attending local events, social media will be used to get the word out, Mr. Bravo, Complete Count Committee chair, said.
“The committee will be using the communication networks of its members to supplement the city and region’s broader marketing plan of education, including traditional advertising, social media channels, participation in events and the like,” he said.
“There will be periodic updates on the census at City Council meetings with a schedule still to be determined,” Mr. Bravo said.
The 2020 Census is not an issue or topic that Apache Junction residents have been concerned with recently, Councilman Struble said.
“Right now it is not a major point of interest. But when there are questions or concerns, it is mostly about infringing on the individual’s privacy and asking of intrusive questions,” he said.
As required by the Census Act, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted a list of questions to Congress on March 29, 2018. Based on those questions, the 2020 Census will ask:
• How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. “This will help us count the entire U.S. population and ensure that we count people according to where they live on Census Day,” according to the Census website.
• Whether the home is owned or rented. “This will help us produce statistics about homeownership and renting. The rates of homeownership serve as one indicator of the nation’s economy. They also help in administering housing programs and informing planning decisions,” the website states.
• About the sex of each person in your home. “This allows us to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations and policies against discrimination,” according to census.gov.
• About the age of each person in your home. “The U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older adults,” the website states.
• About the race of each person in your home. “This allows us to create statistics about race and to provide other statistics by racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act,” according to the Census website.
• About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. “These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This is needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act,” the website states.
• About the relationship of each person in your home. “This allows the Census Bureau to create estimates about families, households and other groups. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone,” according to the website.
In May 2020, census takers are to begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help ensure everyone is counted. At the same time, other Census Bureau representatives will be visiting homes for ongoing surveys, such as the American Community Survey.
Census takers who verify addresses are called address canvassers. They help ensure an accurate and complete count by verifying addresses and noting where houses, apartments, shelters and other residences are located. Census takers will attempt to knock on every door in the neighborhood they are canvassing.
Other reasons census takers may be in a neighborhood include:
• They are verifying addresses in preparation for the census.
• They are collecting responses to the census or another survey.
• They are dropping off census materials.
• They are conducting quality checks related to the census.
If someone visits your home to collect information for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:
• First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
• If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact your Regional Census Center (in Denver, at 1-800-852-6159, according to census.gov/about/regions.html) to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
Source: Census Bureau