Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020
The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. is urging all households that have not yet filled out the 2020 Census to respond online, by phone or through a door-to-door census taker.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it has begun following up in person with households including Lawrence, that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.
Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at , or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited in person.
“Lawrence is in danger of being undercounted during the 2020 Census, which means the community could lose out on federal funding for critical programs such as Medicaid, Head Start, mental health services, hospitals and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,’’ said Evelyn Friedman, executive director of GLCAC, which is working to spread the word about the importance of filling out the Census. “Less than 10 minutes of your time could result in millions of dollars for your community.’’
Friedman assures residents that the 2020 Census does not ask whether anyone in the home is a U.S. citizen and that answers cannot be used to impact eligibility for government benefits.
The law prevents the Census Bureau from sharing information with law enforcement. Federal law clearly states no personal information can be shared. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated to more than 100 programs by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
Those who have not yet completed the Census may receive a visit from a census taker in the coming weeks.
The Census Bureau will provide face masks to census takers and requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work.
All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
Census takers can be by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge.
GLCAC is a multi-faceted social services agency that assists 32,648 individuals through a range of programs including early childhood education, fuel assistance, WIC nutrition assistance, immigration services, lead poisoning prevention, child abuse prevention, English-language lessons, and consumer protection.