Salina community leaders met on Tuesday morning to discuss the importance of the 2020 Census and why it matters to Salina and the surrounding area.
Speakers at the briefing held at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, were Salina Mayor, Mike Hoppock; Eric Brown, Chamber President; and Dustin Herrs, City of Salina staff liaison to Salina’s Complete Count Committee. The group discussed how an accurate count of citizens in Salina and Saline County leads to better economic opportunities for the city and county.
The Census, which is required by the U.S. Constitution, is compiled every 10 years. It is a count of all persons living in the United States that is conducted by the federal government. The Census is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, how federal and state legislative districts are redrawn and the appropriation of federally funded programs.
Brown tells KSAL News that billions of dollars of economic activity at stake in the 2020 Census and an inaccurate count could impact the community in a negative way. Brown says that an under-count could cost the Salina community millions of dollars.
Census Day is April 1, 2020. Data collection will begin later this month and will continue through Aug. of this year. Households will receive a postcard with instructions for completing the Census. It is important to note, however, that the Census will never call or email citizens.
Hoppock is challenging community members to reach out and encourage other citizens to fill out the Census and complete it in a timely matter and as early as possible. Hoppock mentions many avenues that residents have to respond in the 2020 Census.
In the last Census, conducted in 2010, Saline County had the highest rate of self reporting in the state at 78% response. Hoppock challenges the community to top the numbers of that from 2010.
The Census Bureau is also conducting special counts for people living in group quarters (college dormitories, prisons, nursing facilities or who are unsheltered.)
For much more information on the 2020 Census, visit: www.kansascounts.org