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Let’s Get Counted: The 2020 Census

July 2, 2020

By: Tiffany Rodriguez, Cathy Luo and Lucas Sensius

Vital Village Network is excited to launch a cross-team collaborative effort to continue the conversation around the 2020 Census. We want to elevate grassroots resources and information regarding the ongoing 2020 Census. Follow along and engage in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. For comments, suggestions or feedback connect with Tiffany Rodriguez, NOW Program Coordinator, at

Let’s Get Counted

What is the 2020 Census?

The United States Census takes place every 10 years and is a survey that exists to count every person who lives in the United States and its five territories; Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S Virgin Islands.

How is the 2020 Census taken?

The census is conducted by mail, online and over the phone. Every household should have received their unique code to complete the form. If you did not, you can call via phone to receive the code. One member from each household, who is at least 15 years old, can complete the form for everyone who lives there. You may complete the 2020 Census in 13 languages (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, Polish, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Portuguese, French, Tagalog, and Russian) however guides are available in 60 languages.

What is Census data used for and how does it impact you and your community?

Your engagement in the Census helps to shape the future of your community. The results will determine where federal dollars flow and direct investing to improve local schools, highways, public transportation systems, elderly housing assistance, natural disaster preparation and much more. The data also determines congressional representation and helps researchers identify strengths in communities as well as vulnerable areas that need improved funding and support to make communities that allow for everyone to thrive.

How can you take part in making sure that the census data collected is accurate and truly represents the many communities and identities that make up the United States of America and its territories?

Historically, the census process inadequately included some communities, resulting in continued distrust, misrepresentation and insufficient resources for communities across the country.

This has had continued impact on communities such as the American Indian and Alaskan Native, Black, immigrant, and rural communities, as well as those who speak languages other than English as their primary communication, and those that face barriers to access in technology. Activists have organized to push for a more inclusive survey that captures more inclusive ethnic and cultural identities in a variety of accessible methods, but the work still continues. We can each do our part by encouraging our family, friends and neighbors to fill out the census by directing them to the online, phone or paper form.

Here are some ways to help your community get counted:

  • Host a virtual Census party: Create a Facebook event and invite your network to save 30 minutes of their day to join you in filling out their census. Make a playlist, communicate in the language of your hearts, and share the online census link with all who attend.

  • Post on social media: Remind your followers to fill out the census. Post the link to the census Post it in the language of your heart and community to help reach those who communicate in a variety of languages.

  • Encourage your local nonprofits to make it a priority to provide resources including education and technology access so that your community can get counted. Nonprofits are a critical bridge in communities that may find additional barriers to get counted.

You can complete the 2020 Census through the end of October 2020.

Stay up to date on the 2020 census using this link.

Let us know when you filled out the census and who you will be encouraging to fill it out too by using the following tweet: I did my part to get counted! Census 2020 is around the corner and I am supporting (insert person, community, etc) to get counted too. #villageinmind #letsgetcounted

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