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Census workers going door-to-door as deadline to complete 2020 count looms

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - If you haven't filled out the 2020 Census yet you can expect a knock at the door from a census worker.

The U.S. Census Bureau is making a final push to complete the count before the deadline hits on September 30. So far, the California self response rate is around 67% of households. Areas considered "hard to count" are getting the focus of the attention. That include Santa Maria where the self response rate is about 65%.

With a current national self-response rate of 64%, the Census Bureau estimates it will need to visit about 56 million addresses to collect responses in person.

The Census Bureau goes to great lengths to count everyone: 

  • Census takers will visit a home up to six times to obtain a response. 
  • Census takers will conduct phone calls to supplement the door-to-door operation and increase the ability to reach all communities.  
  • Increasing work hours and offering competitive pay. Census Field Supervisors who exceed 32 hours or more per week between Aug. 9 and Aug. 29 will earn a $750 award.  
  • The Census Bureau will set up Mobile Questionnaire Assistance sites at high-trafficked areas like grocery stores and libraries to help count households in the lowest-responding areas of the nation.  
  • The Census Bureau is mailing an additional paper census questionnaire to some households that haven’t responded yet in low-responding areas. 

Before entering the field, census takers complete training on social distancing and safety protocols. They will follow public health guidelines and are required to wear a face mask when conducting home visits.  They can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. However, the Census Bureau continues to encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census on their own to avoid a visit from a census taker. 

More than $675 billion in federal funds will be allocated to communities across the country every year for the next decade. Communities that are under counted risk missing out on support for an array of critical programs and services, including housing, transportation, health care, education, and emergency response.  

The deadline to respond to the 2020 Census is September 30.

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Joe Buttitta

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