Census Day 2020 is one year from today, and work has begun locally in preparation of this national initiative. Mecklenburg County and the NC Counts Coalition announced during a press conference at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center today Meck Counts 2020, an effort to plan outreach and engagement for the U.S. 2020 Census.
Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chairman George Dunlap and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles announced the establishment of a 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, which is comprised of elected officials and leaders from education, business, nonprofit, healthcare, the faith community and community based-organizations. They will work with local stakeholders and media to educate the public about Census 2020, encourage participation, and facilitate survey access, particularly among traditionally hard-to-count populations.
Dunlap and Lyles emphasized the importance of the Census for fair political representation, federal funding and planning for future community needs. They also spoke about the Census Bureau’s efforts to recruit for approximately 5,000 jobs in North Carolina, 1,800 of which will be in Mecklenburg County. These temporary jobs will include Census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff and supervisory staff. Job details are available at www.2020census.gov/jobs.
The event also featured a panel of County staff and community stakeholders who discussed details about how the Census is conducted and challenges to a complete Census count. Some of the most common reasons people do not participate in the Census or do not accurately report their information are fear and misinformation about privacy and confidentiality, language barriers, not understanding the purpose of the census or who should be counted, and unstable living arrangements.
New in 2020, households will be able to self-respond online, by phone or using the traditional paper questionnaire. Most households will receive a postcard encouraging them to respond online.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a population count be conducted each decade. The primary goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Census data are important for planning for needs for the community such as schools, hospitals, transportation, housing and emergency services. Critical federal funding allocated to states, local governments and individuals is also based on calculations derived from census data. In FY2016, North Carolina received $23.7 billion through 55 federal spending programs guided by data derived from the 2010 Census. More than $883 billion was allocated to all states that year.
Mecklenburg County residents can learn more about the importance of the Census, stay up to date on the work of the Complete Count Committee and sign up to get involved in outreach efforts by visiting MeckCounts2020.com.
About NC CountsThe NC Counts Coalition was established in 2017 to prepare North Carolina for the 2020 Census. The Coalition serves as a hub to facilitate cross-sector coordination among government, planning and community organizations, service providers, businesses and others to achieve a complete and accurate Census count for North Carolina.
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