As the 2020 Census gets closer, we are expecting copycat surveys and other questionable contacts to happen. We’ve already been asked to verify a non-2020 Census survey as from the Census Bureau and is not a scam. How do we participate in the 2020 Census and keep our communities safe?
First of all: the 2020 Census will never ask for your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, money, or donations.
Second: Any Census Bureau employee that comes to your home will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
If you still have questions about their identity, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
How to verify a mailing is from the Census Bureau
If you receive a survey or a letter in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains certain information that will help you verify its legitimacy. For example:
U.S. Department of Commerce in the return address. This is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
Jeffersonville, Indiana in the return address. Most census- and survey-related materials are mailed from, and returned to, the National Processing Center at 1201 East 10th St. in Jeffersonville, IN.
You may also receive a reminder letter from one of the Census Bureau’s regional offices or headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.
Information for responding to a survey online is mailed to your address, including how to register online and/or log in. For information on whether a survey has the option to be completed online, please visit the survey’s webpage.
How to identify a phone call from the Census Bureau
If your address was selected to be in a survey, the Census Bureau may call you to participate. Some surveys are done exclusively by phone. They might also call you if they do not find you at home or when a personal visit is not convenient.
You may receive a call from one of the Census Bureau’s contact centers or from a field representative.
For more information on how to avoid scams, please visit the US Census Bureau’s website (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/fraudulent-activity-and-scams.html) or the AARP’s website (https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/census.html)
In each CACCC email we will answer a question (or more!) that is sent to our census team, so please ask away! Contact info at the bottom.
“My husband and I are divorced and live separately. Who counts our kids?”
The short answer is “Wherever the kids sleep on Census Day.” It’s a Wednesday this year, so whichever parent usually has the kids on a Wednesday night should count them. It seems simple, but it can get complicated pretty quickly — i.e. “If our kids are visiting my parents on April 1st, do they get counted at their grandparents’ house?” No, they get counted at the home where they would usually sleep on Wednesday, April 1.
The Census Bureau guidance says: “If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes anyone who is living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1, and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census.”
This includes the grandchild you’ve been taking care of for a couple of months, even if she’s supposed to go back to living with her parents any day now. It includes the friend who is homeless and couch surfing. It includes anyone who’s living with you even if they aren’t on the lease, or aren’t technically supposed to be. The Census does NOT release that information to anyone, so it is safe to include everyone who lives in your home.
It is better to err on the side of over-counting than under-counting — if you aren’t sure if someone should be counted, do it anyway. The Census Bureau is very good at eliminating duplicates, so it’s better for someone to be counted twice than not at all.
The Census Bureau has information on special circumstances, like people who are born or die, move or are visiting etc. on Census Day addressed here.
Our Census Counts 2020 partner, the Council for a Strong America, has posted their September 2019 Webinar about how to engage local businesses in Census activities. The Council has over 2400 business leader members across the country, and their goal is to promote policies and programs that build a strong workforce and economy. This is great information for any Board Members who are also in the business community to impress upon them why and how their companies can get involved in engaging employees and customers. We will be including a Board Member section on our Census Toolkit as well.
You can watch the whole webinar here.
New Poll: Most US adults intend to participate in the 2020 Census, but some demographic groups aren’t sure
A new poll came out last week by the Pew Research Center that shows that 98% of Americans are aware of the Census, and 84% definitely or probably will participate.
While that’s good news, we know that the remaining 16% is made up of some of the people we work with every day. The poll says that Black and Hispanic adults and people with lower incomes are more likely to say they probably or definitely will not fill out the Census.
The poll showed that when people believe that the census is important to the country or beneficial to themselves or their communities, they are more likely to respond. This underscores the message research we’ve seen that says when someone knows that filling out the Census will help their community, they are more likely to complete it.
Read the full article here.
- There will be NO citizenship question on the 2020 Census form.
- All data collected by the Census Bureau (including data collected via administrative record sharing agreements) are confidential and protected under federal law. The Census Bureau is not allowed to release individual data or personal responses to anyone, for any purpose – including to other government agencies or law enforcement. See more information about the federal laws that protect census confidentiality in this fact sheet from the Brennan Center.
- Responding to the Census will help ensure that our communities get their fair share of federal funds for programs like Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start, unemployment benefits, Section 8 housing vouchers, programs for seniors and veterans with disabilities, and school lunch programs. It also helps ensure that our communities have fair political representation, and enough money to build roads, hospitals, and schools.
- When communities are missed in the census, they lose out on funding, resources, and equal political representation. Everyone deserves to be counted.
- Participating in the census helps determine how many books and computers your kids’ school can afford, where companies bring new jobs, and whether there’s money to fix your communities’ roads.
- Ensuring an accurate census will help make sure your community is properly represented in Congress, state legislatures, and even city and county councils and local school boards.