Next month you will get an envelope from the government that isn’t your tax refund. Instead, it’s a notice about the 2020 Census which you can fill out and mail or go online to complete. And if you don’t do one of those options a census taker will come a knockin’ on your door to ask you a bunch of questions. Don’t start looking for the nearest exit-this is a normal thing that happens in this country every 10 years and is mandated by our Constitution and thus required by law for all of us to answer/respond. The Bureau can impose fines for failing to answer or intentionally providing false information.For example? How many people are living in your home as of April 1, 2020? This is to help the government count the entire U.S. population. Is this a house, apartment or mobile home and if this home is owned by you is there a mortgage on the home? This information helps produce statistics about homeownership and renting. Ownership has a direct indication of our economic health. In an ideal world, renting stats can help increase/create housing programs. A mortgage is most often public record and the census taker can look up an address to determine who holds the mortgage. What’s your phone number? They may call later to clarify information or ask for more specific information. The Census Bureau wants to know the name of the person who pays the rent or mortgage and the sex of that person. Why? Again, to create statistics to better understand where different age groups live. One of the contentious questions this year is ‘Is the person paying rent or mortgage of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?’ The Bureau states that they “Want to get answers to this question to help federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.” Many folks think that this is an excuse for the government to ferret out illegal aliens and go after them, which is denied by officials constantly. There is a separate question about the person’s race-which can be White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, other Asian, Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Chamorro, other Pacific Islander or ‘some other race’. U.S. census takers get @$15 per hour and they are wanting to hire 5,000 Utahns to head count/knock on doors. The application is on line and they are really hoping to get a lot of temp employees this year who are bilingual who will work in their own towns to go door to doors of those who don’t respond or to track down Native Americans in extremely rural areas. Flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks to count heads isn’t a bad job and training starts ASAP.Fill it out, people! Conspiracy theories about the census are rampant but hey, it gets us better federal funding in many areas and could get us more representation in congress!To find out more about what’s coming in the mail or to apply: go to www.2020census.gov
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