Time to Participate in the 2020 Census

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Time to Participate in the 2020 Census

One of the most important events taking place in 2020 is something many of us might not think too much about.

With more than $675 billion in federal funds per year spent on schools, roads, hospitals, public works, and numerous other essential programs, it’s important that Lincoln and every community makes sure they provide an accurate count of its people for not only funding purposes but also to accurately divide political representation.

The time to fill out the 2020 Census is upon us with ads already appearing in numerous places and invitations to fill out the census mailed out in March.

The census impacts daily life in our country in many different ways. It can be used to determine funding for Medicaid, highway planning and construction, unemployment insurance, business and industry loans and numerous other programs that impact our city and state. It is also used by our local government to plan for new services in our city, such as schools and hospitals.

One of the primary sources to fund local roads and bridges comes directly from population numbers from the census. The results from the census will then shape spending decisions for the next decade, coinciding with the current need for improvements to roads and bridges throughout Lincoln and Lancaster County. Those projects directly impact businesses, our schools and ultimately, our quality of life.

The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project is one entity that is looking to accurately measure just how much the federal government will use census findings to shape the distribution of funding to states and localities across the country. For the fiscal year 2016 alone, The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project found that Nebraska received just under $4 billion through data collected in the 2010 Census.

Needless to say, it is very important to fill out the census and make the participation levels as high as possible.

The 2020 Census will also be the first to be widely available online, which will hopefully increase the ability to gain an accurate count and increase participation with its ease of use. There will be reminders sent out in the mail up through April 27 to remind those that have not completed the census.

If an accurate count is not obtained and an area is undercounted, it can mean the loss of millions of dollars for these various programs and projects that are important to communities and their residents. Our businesses also use the data collected by the census to decide where to expand businesses with additional jobs, new residential neighborhoods and add stores, offices or plants to further their contribution to local economies.

Our local 2020 Census Complete Count Committee continues to work on effective ways to increase participation in the census and the collective effort to make sure everyone is counted.

I encourage everyone to take the short time it takes to answer the questions on the 2020 Census when it arrives in the coming months. We need to ensure that all Lincoln residents are counted!

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The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, (www.lcoc.com) please contact Jaime Henning at jaimehenning@lcoc.com.

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