2020 Census Planning in Amherst

A meeting on the 2020 Census was held at Town Hall on October 10. Speakers included Mindy Domb, Rep. Paul Mark (House Committee on Redistricting), and Georgia Lowe (US Census Bureau).

The importance of getting a complete count of every person in the US was emphasized. The count is the means of determining how much federal funding comes into one's community. More than $675 billion in federal funds is distributed to states and communities based on the census count. That money is spent on schools, public works, roads, hospitals and other vital programs. The count also determines congressional representation and how many seats each state gets. Based on population shifts from the census count, state officials redraw boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts.

In mid-March every household will receive by mail a letter with an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census. Everyone will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. This is the first year an online response is possible. In rural areas or areas not likely to get an online response, a paper questionnaire will be included with that invitation letter. In the absence of a response, reminder letters or postcards will be sent several times if necessary. If there is no response by April 20-27 a final reminder will be sent before there is a follow up in person by a Census worker.

All responses are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can be used for statistics ONLY and in no other way. Responses cannot be used by a government agency or court - not by the FBI, CIA, DHS, or ICE.

Census workers will be needed for a variety of jobs. One can apply online or by phone 1-855-562-2020. The pay is $18 per hour.