RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The U.S. Census Bureau is seeking the help of state and Richmond-area partners to ensure Virginians are accurately participating in the 2020 count.
“We’re going to start the count mid-March,” Ron Brown, partnership coordinator for the United States Census Bureau, said.
As the U.S. Census Bureau accepts thousands of applicants for job openings, the federal agency says they’re coordinating with a Virginia state commission, and non-profits to promote participation in the once-a-decade count.
Brown cited Governor Ralph Northam’s Complete Count Commission, “a task force of members from around the Commonwealth who live in communities, who are recognized, trusted voices in their communities…’ ‘…so people will feel comfortable when it comes time to fill out the Census form to do it.”
Once the count starts this spring, the Census Bureau “will be sending an invitation for people to go online and fill out their Census form” Brown said.
April 1, toll-free phone numbers can be used to participate as well.
“If people are not using the online or using the toll-free numbers, we will send them the form,” Brown said.
One additional message shared by the Census is that the citizenship question will not be included in the 2020 questionnaire after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a Trump administration effort to have the question included.
“We’re working with united way agencies, we’re working with the area–I mean–AARP agencies. so we’re working with the urban leagues. so, we’re reaching out to as many agencies as we possibly can.”
For those, still, possibly wary to answer questions, Brown pointed out a confidentiality oath “that we will not violate sharing their private information with anyone. If we, as employees, violate that we are subject to spend five years in jail and, or pay a $250,000 fine. And that’s not just while we are working with the U.S. Census Bureau–that’s for the rest of our lives, no matter what we are doing.”
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