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Please respond to Decennial Census 2020

Greetings, Natchez, Adams County! It is that time again to be counted in the 2020 census.

As most of us know the census is counted every 10 years with 2010 being the last time.

This census will start April 1, 2020.

The Decennial Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, which also means everyone should be counted including homeless people.

The highest undercounted people are the children 0 to 5 years of age. Nearly every household will receive an invitation from a postal worker or a census worker to participate in the 2020 census.

Also 5% of households will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off. In this area, the majority of households may not receive mail at their homes, physical location (such as households that use P.O. Boxes or areas recently affected by natural disasters).

Less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a census taker instead of being invited to respond on their own.

By Dec. 31, census info should be delivered to the President of the United States. Numerators will come out in May if the Bureau has not heard from all citizens.

The punishment for willfully ignoring the census or skipping questions is a $100 fine or for willfully providing false responses a $500 fine.

Many people may ask, ‘Why do we take the census?’ The answer is simple — funding. Examples include transportation, school lunches, roads, bridges, hospitals, clinics, Title 1 funding, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, etc.

The six top problems Mississippi has that make it hard to count are:

*Rural state

*Agriculture

*Heavily black population in the Delta

*Multi –family housing units

*Vacant households

*Poverty areas

The census can also be defined as fair representation. It’s about redistricting. Census data determines how more than $675 billion is spent supporting our state, county and community’s vital programs — Boys & Girls Club — is a prime example.

Ninety-five percent of households will receive their census invitation in the mail. You can respond by online, by mail or by phone.

Your census responses are safe and secure. By law, you responses cannot be used against you. So please, as a U.S. citizen, do your part in participating.

Please, if you would like to work with the census, you may apply at 2020census.gov/jobs or call 1-855-562-2020.

Jacqueline Marsaw, a community activist, attended training on the census.