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Filling Out The 2020 Census Means More Funding For Colorado

DENVER (CBS4) – The 2020 Census is underway with mail notifications sent out to Colorado residents this week. Nonprofits working to encourage everyone to participate say that each person counted will lead to an additional $2,300 a year in funding for the state.

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"The Census is really the bedrock of our democracy," said Amanda Gonzalez, the executive director for Colorado Common Cause.

Invitations are set to arrive before April 1 with instruction to complete the process online or by phone. Invitations include an ID number tied to an address but you do not need that number to start the process. April 1 is Census Day, which is the snapshot for who should be counted at an address on that date.

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"The Census happens once every 10 years and people tend to forget about it," said Gillian Winbourn, program director for Together We Count. "If you're already on Facebook you might as well be going to"

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Together We Count focuses on "hard-to-count" residents including renters, immigrants, refugees, and people with a low socio-economic status. Winbourn wants to remind the public that mailings sent out to Colorado will have a return address from Indiana. It is an official document from the Census Bureau. She hopes people appreciate the broad range of funding calculated in part by census data including school meals and road projects.

"When we have something happening like we do right now where there is a lot of uncertainty, and we need all of these systems to work really well," said Gonzalez. "It's important that they have accurate funding."

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COVID-19 may keep people from work and spending time in large gatherings but staying home should not prevent you from completing the 2020 Census. The process should not involve anyone else in most cases. But if needed, there is language assistance available by phone.

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Colorado Common Cause has taken on the work of reminding people about the 2020 Census because it aligns with their ongoing mission about getting more people involved in the voting process. Gonzalez points out not only will representation in Congress be determined by the 2020 Census, but so will district lines in the state that determine who residents will consider on a ballot for legislative seats.

All advocates for the 2020 Census want to remind the public to count every person in your household, not just adults but also children.

If you do not respond online or by phone, you should receive a paper questionnaire in April. The Census Bureau plans to send members of its team door-to-door in May to collect responses from people who have not already participated online, by phone, or in the mail.

"People don't realize how far reaching the impacts of the census are and how important it is that we have an accurate count," Gonzalez said.

LINK: 2020 Census

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