Extension Notes 

by Christina C. Swallows, UT Extension Agent

Have you responded to Census 2020 yet? According to the United States Constitution every ten years the census records everyone living in this country. Your household survey can help bring dollars to our state of Tennessee and locally to Overton County. According to www.pogo.org/analysis and the https://2020census.gov/ the 2020 census data will be used to guide the federal government on how to spend approximately $1.5 trillion each year for the next 10 years through 316 federal programs. Like Medicaid, student loans, road construction, low income tax credits and loans, adoption programs, clinics, school lunches, education, fire departments and much more. It also determines electoral representation. Yes, you count so take a moment and be counted.

Census takers will be in our neighborhoods visiting homes that have not responded to the 2020 Census starting August 11 through October 31, 2020. If you or someone from your household has not responded you can expect a knock on your door. The Census takers will wear masks and will follow the local health department guidelines when they visit your home. These Census takers are persons from our area hired to help you and everyone in your home be counted. If the census taker doesn’t speak your language, you can request a taker who does. If you are not home they will leave information on how to respond and if necessary they will make additional visits to collect the responses. If someone visits your home to collect the 2020 Census, be proactive by asking to see their identification. Census takers will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. Census takers may also carry items like logoed Census Bureau bags laptop, laptop bag, confidentiality notices and an “Official Business” notice on their vehicles.

I encourage you to respond online, by phone or by mail with your 2020 Census to avoid the census takers from knocking on your door. Quickly complete you survey today, online at https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020. You may also mail in your survey that you should have received in March 2020.

According to the US Census 2020:

• Census results affect planning and funding for healthcare—including programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part B, State Children’s Health Insurance, and the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

• Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education.

• Census results affect planning and funding for infrastructure—including programs for highway planning and construction, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.

• Census results affect planning and funding for employment and training—including programs for vocational rehabilitation state grants, dislocated workers, and American Indian and Alaska Native employment and training.

• Census counts everyone living in the country, including non-citizens. Learn more about who should be counted when you complete the 2020 Census. The law prevents the Census Bureau from sharing your information with law enforcement. Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are only used to create statistics about our country. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to protect your personal information and keep it strictly confidential. That’s every answer, to every question.

Use caution when answering emails, someone may try to get your information by pretending to be a person, company or organization that you are familiar with. Instead of a legitimate company, the link takes you to a website that looks real but is fake and may be infected with malware. This is called phishing and it is a criminal act. People use a wide variety of scams to take money from unsuspecting victims. This past year some scammers have been using the US Census Bureau’s logo. Remember the US Census Bureau does NOT ask for:

• Your FULL Social Security Number.

• Your Bank Account Number.

• Your Credit Card Number.

• Anything on behalf of a Political Party.

• Nor does it ask for Money or Donations