MENDOCINO Co., 4/4/20 — Was Census Day this week, which means counties nationwide are encouraging their residents to fill out the census, as the number people counted will determine how much funding Mendocino County gets for a wide variety of important services. Mendocino County has been historically under-counted, which means Mendocino County is not getting it’s share of federal funding for things like community clinics, school lunches, emergency medical services, and much more. Filling out the census now will determine Mendocino’s share of that funding for the next decade, so now’s the time to fill out the census!
Here’s a letter from Paula Cohen, of Little River, talking about why the census is important we wanted to share with you.
Census 2020 is here! There have been articles, interviews and presentations about the 2020 Census and how important it is to Mendocino County. As a refresher, a count of all people is mandated by the US Constitution. The results are used to determine the number of people we have in the House of Representatives, the state’s number of Electoral College votes and distribution of federal funds. In Mendocino County the 2010 Census response rate was less than 72%. The stark reality of a low response rate is the loss of federal dollars for more than 200 programs that impact all of us, including less funding for roads, highways, fire services, schools, health care, senior and veteran services just to name a few. We can make a big change in funding this year by completing the Census! Here is important information for you to know.
There will be 3 ways for you to respond:
1. Online: Beginning March 12th, if you receive your mail at your home address invitations will be
mailed to that address and will contain a unique identifier number and instructions on how to access the US Census website. You will receive reminder notices regularly until you respond. If you receive your mail at post office box, a postcard will be sent to you mid –March with instructions on how to obtain the identifier number and go online. Given the current concern with the COVID-19 completing the Census on line is becoming a popular option.
2. Telephone: There will be phone numbers in 13 languages provided for people to respond.
3. Paper: Paper forms will be available to those who have not responded by mid-April. If you do not
have reliable internet, there will be access at the Fort Bragg Library at 499 E. Laurel. If you do not respond by mid-April there will, a Census employee may contact you at your home address to gather the information.
As with many things, there are scams regarding the Census. Only official employees of the Census Bureau will come to your home. They must wear a badge with their photo. The US Census Bureau will NEVER ask for your social security number, bank account information, credit card number or money or donations. If you someone says they are a Census worker and asks these questions, immediately contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at 961-2800 and the US Census Bureau at 844-330-2020 to report this activity.
The Census is CONFIDENTAL: Federal law is very concerned with your privacy and there are stringent laws protecting it. Individual data will be sealed for a period of 72 years.
For more detailed information about Mendocino County’s census efforts check out: mendocinocounts.org
If you have questions about the census or help locating online access you may call Paula Cohen 937-1914.
Remember EVERY person counts, our community COUNTS on you to help bring much needed resources home to Mendocino County.