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GUEST POST: 2020 is a census year... Everyone counts, together we thrive.

March 2, 2020 - by Guest Post: Gwen Rousseau, City of Bellevue

Category What's Happening

2020 is a census year... Everyone counts, together we thrive.

Beginning in mid-March, look in the mail for your official invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. It will take just 10 minutes to answer 10 questions that will shape investments in our community for the next 10 years.

But, what is the census? Simply put, the census is a head count of every person living in the United States. To be sure the government represents the people, the U.S. Constitution requires a population count every ten years. Ever since 1790, the census has determined the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is and always has been a cornerstone of our democracy. 

We still use it to determine representation, but leaders also use census data to make decisions. Your response helps guide planning for the future of our communities. The 2020 Census will help inform decisions on how billions of dollars are allocated annually for critical public services like roads, schools, hospitals and healthcare clinics, fire and emergency response services and hundreds of other programs.

In 2020, for the first time, you will be able to complete the census online, by phone or by mail. It asks a few simple questions, like how many people are living in your home as of April 1, including any children. The census also includes questions about your race, sex and homeownership status.
You should know that by law, all census responses must be kept confidential for 72 years, and your personal information cannot be shared with any law enforcement agency or used against you by any government agency or court. 

Every person counts no matter who you are or where you live. So, whether your family has participated for decades or the 2020 Census will be your first, we all have a role in shaping the future or our country and our community. 

Please reach out to your employees, coworkers, neighbors, friends and family to remind them that 2020 is a census year and that everyone counts. Go online to access our 2020 Census Toolkit with materials to help everyone understand what the census is, why we do it and how they can participate. The quality of our decisions and the amount of resources we’ll have to invest in our community depend on everyone participating in the 2020 Census. Everyone counts, together we thrive! 

- Gwen Rousseau, Senior Planner at the City of Bellevue, contributed this post.