MENDOCINO Co., 10/6/20 — The census has been ongoing since spring, and the collection effort has now been extended in northern Mendocino County, due to below average response rates specifically in the Covelo and Willits area. Census workers will continue going door to door in north county to collect information from households that have not yet filled out the census, and residents are encouraged to take five minutes to respond by phone or online in order to get a more accurate count of Mendocino County residents.
The census count is used in numerous ways that affect our county, ranging from election districts to the amount of federal funds that go to support schools, emergency services, and more. Mendocino Counts staff estimate that each person counted could bring in at least $10,000 per resident over the next decade. Right now, an estimated 55.7% of households in northern Mendocino County have responded to the census, in comparison with an average of 69.3% of households statewide. As such, the deadline for responses has been extended to give residents more time to participate and get a more accurate count.
Residents can respond themselves at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020; one survey should be filled out to include everyone in the household. Census workers will also be knocking on doors to collect surveys, and will be wearing official government identification badges and following public safety protocols. All residents are encouraged to fill out the census regardless of information status, which is not asked, and personal identifying information is kept confidential and not shared with other government agencies.
Here’s the full announcement from the census:
Census Takers Follow Up With Nonresponsive Households
in Willits and Surrounding Area, Not Too Late to Self-Respond
October 6, 2020 – The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will continue its follow up with households in the Covelo and adjacent Mendocino County area that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. The current self-response rate in Mendocino County is 55.7%, well below the state’s 69.3% rate. The Census Bureau will need to visit the remaining addresses to collect responses in-person.
Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.
Participation in the 2020 Census is essential to all communities in order to secure their fair share of billions of dollar in federal funding for schools, health care, transportation, emergency services and disaster reconstruction, among other essential infrastructure programs, for the next 10 years. Census data is also used to determine congressional representation for each state in the country.
What Households Can Expect
The Census Bureau will provide face masks to census takers and requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work. They will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.
How to Identify Census Takers
Census takers 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. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
About the 2020 Census
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.
For more information, visit 2020census.gov.