The importance of participating in the 2020 Census

The importance of participating in the 2020 Census

The importance of participating in the 2020 CensusAs member of the 2020 Census Task Force appointed by Miami-Dade County Commission chair Audrey M. Edmonson, I am committed to supporting efforts that encourage all our residents in Miami-Dade to participate in the census count.

Whether it’s empowering each municipality to have a census committee or using existing data, an accurate and full count of the next U.S. Census in 2020 will provide vital information about our increasingly growing population and infrastructure, and that impacts the everyday lives of all Americans.

Our founding fathers believed that census data was so important that they mandated the taking of a decennial census as a part of the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution requires the government to count the number of people, including children, and adults — whether U.S. citizens or not — living in the U.S. every 10 years, and uses that data to allocate congressional seats among the states.

The State of Florida gained two congressional seats based on the 2010 census, raising the total number of U.S. Representatives apportioned to the State of Florida to 27. The State of Florida is projected to gain additional U.S. congressional seats after the 2020 census. Census data also are used for the allocation and distribution of state and federal public funds for educational programs, resiliency, healthcare, law enforcement, and transportation.

On Feb. 15, the U.S. Supreme Court questioned whether the 2020 census could include a question about one’s citizenship. A citizenship question that discourages participation could cause a massive undercount of the Miami-Dade County and State of Florida population and negatively shift the number of congressional seats that Florida receives, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in federal, state and local funding.

Census data forms the basis of our representative democracy by enhancing the quality of life for all Americans. The accuracy of census data is critical to determine congressional apportionments, state and federal monetary distributions, and planning for programs.

As a member of the 2020 Census Task Force in Miami-Dade County, I will support every effort to ensure that every single member of our community participates on Apr. 1, 2020. An accurate count is essential to our county and its resident’s future economic, social, and civic well-being.

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