Across America, communities are still adapting to the new normal following the COVID-19 outbreak. “The health crisis has made getting your household counted for the 2020 Census more important than ever for Miami Gardens”, says Petula Burks, Director of Civic Engagement for the City. Data gathered from this year’s census will allow for the appropriate distribution of federal public health funds. To be clear, the results of the census will determine how much money is allocated towards crisis response in our City for the next 10 years.
“The census in very simple terms equals money for the community,” explains Burks. “So if we were to have another crisis, or if this one is sustained for a long period of time, getting the right count will bring the money we need into our public health systems.”
In addition to supporting health networks, this count will also decide how much federal support the City will receive for public schools, small businesses and other critical services. With this in mind, here are some important updates regarding the recent changes made for the 2020 Census following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes to the Deadline
Due to COVID-19, the deadline for participants to respond has been pushed back from July to October 31. For households that have not yet submitted their information, trained representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau will also be conducting follow-up between August and October.
Though Census Takers will be coming door-to-door to ensure everyone is counted, all representatives will be following CDC guidelines. The teams will be conducting field operations under the guidance of rules and regulations set out by public health authorities.
Before Census Takers knock on your door, you will be alerted as to when they should be expected. They will carry official identification, showing their name, photograph and a watermark from the Department of Commerce.
For those that may need additional help, mobile questionnaire assistance will be readily available. For your convenience, Census Takers will be placed in areas that receive heavy foot traffic, such as grocery stores. Those recently displaced and those living at addresses difficult to access will not be left behind. During the period September 3 – 28, 2020 Census Takers will also be counting people at campgrounds, RV parks, arenas and hotels for those individuals without a permanent address.
Get Counted Online
This year, individuals have the option of submitting their household count online. Miami Gardens residents are encouraged to visit the website www.mycensus2020.gov to fill out the census questionnaire. Easy, step-by-step instructions are provided, and on average, the questionnaire only takes 10 minutes to complete. Besides English, the instructions and questionnaire can also be accessible in 12 other languages.
If internet access is inconvenient, participants may call 844-330-2020 where they may also submit their census responses in their preferred language. If mail is preferred, households can request a paper questionnaire. Regardless of how you choose to be counted, “partaking in the census is one valuable way you can use your voice,” says Burks.