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2020 Census

As the 2020 Census draws to a close, I urge each one of you reading this to respond before it’s too late.

This is the final month to be counted and to help guarantee Columbia, Clatsop and other Oregon counties will receive funding for essential services that will shape the future of our community for the next 10 years.

Whether you live alone, with family, or others, I’m asking you to do your part and count everyone who lives in your home if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, remind other family, friends, and neighbors to be counted, too. Text them. Call them. Share a note on your social media.

While many people know the census is what determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress, it is also used by lawmakers in Washington and Salem, Oregon to allocate funds for programs and services that impact Clatsop County – including the roads we drive on, the schools our children attend, and the hospitals and healthcare clinics we visit when we are sick. An undercount in Clatsop County could mean our community loses out on important federal funds that will leave us behind as others progress into the future.

The deadline to respond is September 30. But don’t wait—you can respond now online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 for English or 844-468-2020 For Spanish, or by mail if you received a paper questionnaire. You can respond in English, Spanish, and 11 other languages online or by phone.

If you don’t respond on your own, you will be visited by a locally hired census taker to make sure you are counted. If a census taker comes to your home, please cooperate. They have been trained on CDC and local health guidelines, will maintain at least a six-foot distance, and will be wearing masks and carrying other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep everyone safe.

A census taker may also call you at home, so please answer the call.

The census asks only 10 questions about you and who lives in your home with you and will only take a few minutes to complete. And remember: Your answers are confidential and can never be shared with federal or local law enforcement agencies. Census takers will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. They may also carry Census Bureau bags and equipment with the Census Bureau logo. They will never ask for Social Security numbers, banking info, citizenship status, or political affiliation.

If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact the Los Angeles Regional Census Center at 213-314-6500 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

The 2020 Census is so important. If we want our voices to be heard at the local and federal level, we all need to do our civic duty and respond. If we want to continue receiving support for critical programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, school lunches and education programs like Head Start, historic preservation and wildlife conservation grants, bridges, bike paths, and other infrastructure, we should respond.

Time is running out. If you haven’t already, you are about to miss this once in a decade chance to shape our future and better our community for the next 10 years.

Monica Steele is the Assistant County Manager for Clatsop County. She may be reached at 503-325-1000 Ext. 1314.

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