Engage Chesterfield

Every Person Counts! The Census and Our Community

February 27, 2020 Family and Community Engagement, Cat Tompkins
Engage Chesterfield
Every Person Counts! The Census and Our Community
Show Notes Transcript

Every person counts!  In mid-March of 2020, homes across the United States will start receiving invitations to complete the census. Did you know that the census greatly impacts our community? School lunches, plans for roads, supports for firefighters and families are all impacted by the census count and affect our everyday lives! In this podcast, we will discuss this important event with census partnership specialist Justin Beck. He will share facts about how to respond, why your answers matter, and address privacy and security concerns. 

We hope that by listening to this podcast you will understand how a complete and accurate count is critical for our community here in Chesterfield Virginia.

For more information on the census, see the website census.gov.

For details on Chesterfield County Public School's event, Statistics in Schools: Every Person Counts, see this event flier.

spk_0:   0:08
Hi, I am Cat Tompkins and you're listening to the Engage Chesterfield Podcast, a podcast about topics that affect our schools and community in Chesterfield, Virginia. We believe family and community engagement is an essential component of improving outcomes for Children. And our goal was to strengthen the partnership between families, teachers, schools and the community. Food, open dialogue. Thanks were engaging with us.

spk_0:   0:50
While you were listening to that 48 2nd opening. The population of the United States grew by two people, and every person counts. In mid-March of 2020 homes across the United States will start receiving invitations to complete the census. This is a big deal. Did you know that the census greatly impacts our community school lunches, plans for roads, supports for firefighters and families. All of these things air impacted by the census count and effect our daily lives. In this podcast, I will discuss this important event was since his partnership specialists Justin Beck. He will share facts about the census, how to respond and why your answers matter. In addition, he will address privacy and security concerns. Hopefully, this podcast will illustrate why complete and accurate count is critical for us in our community while I'm sitting here with Justin back and he is a partnership specialist with the Census Bureau. I want to ask a few questions about this pretty exciting time that's coming up for us in the United States. Yeah, So what is the census?

spk_1:   2:18
So first of all, we'll talk about the census historically. So in 1790, it was the first-ever census. Um, in the Constitution actually says that we need to get a complete count of everyone that's in the United States every 10 years. It's done for two main reasons. Principally, it's done to distribute money from the federal level, back to the localities and second of all ways, it to reshuffle the 435 representatives in the House of Representatives. But then that information that's provided, which is just statistics from the population, is then used to make the terminations and decisions on the local levels on the state levels. It becomes the gold standard of data about the American populace about the American population. So that's the main reason why we have

spk_0:   3:03
to. So you're saying like okay, if it looks like we have a high population of elderly people in this community that maybe we need more retirement facilities here.

spk_1:   3:13
Exactly. And so the localities look at that. Look at that data that they received from the census, and they make those important decisions both in the public sector and in the private sector. So businesses use this information as well to determine Oh, we you know, we need to set up ah health insurance company here in this part of the county, cause there's a lot of people that are over 65 that are uninsured. Now that information would be captured with that information, you know that we collect from the census for this particular decennial, though we're really just looking at a population count so that we can then determine how much money to send back to the localities. And so there's $675 billion in federal funding that'll be distributed over the next 10 years, And it's all based on the on the demographic responses to the census. This decennial census that's coming up.

spk_0:   3:57
What information will folks be asked?

spk_1:   4:00
So it's really just basic demographic information. We're asking, you know, person's gender, we're asking their racial background. There's couple two questions on that. There's a question about whether they rent or own their house. It's question about when they were born, so the birth date is on there.

spk_0:   4:16
We

spk_1:   4:16
also ask about the other individuals in the household and what their relationship is to the person who's answering. The census is important to remember that only one member of the household will be answering the census, and they're gonna include the answers for everybody else that lives in that household. So you can imagine for a multi generational house that one person is gonna be answering for everybody that lives there, you know, for roommates in college, one roommate is gonna be answering for all of the roommates that live in that household. So it's really basic. Information is only nine questions for the first person answering it, and then they answer seven questions about the other individuals in the household, and those questions are outlined on our website as well. 2020 census dot gov. If you go there and look at outreach materials, you can actually see ah thing that we published that says why we ask. And it explains the questions that will be on it and then the reason behind why we're asking those questions. So it explains that connection between the funding that I mentioned already and the individual individual questions that we have on the senses

spk_0:   5:09
so that there are very straightforward questions most people would be able to answer these four there room for sure. It

spk_1:   5:17
won't include any specific financial information. It's not gonna include so security numbers. It's not gonna include anything that wouldn't just be basic information about your roommates. If you don't feel comfortable asking, you know our answering some of the questions before you talk to them. But feel free to talk to your roommates or have them answer with you. But just make sure that you only have one submission for the household. That's really what we're looking for because you're trying to avoid double counts. We don't want people to be counted multiple times, you know, either in the wrong location of that or in the same location. So it's really important that you coordinate within your own household who is gonna be your census taker, and he's gonna take care of getting the answers for everybody else.

spk_0:   5:52
How exactly are folks gonna be doing the senses. Is it? Somebody's gonna knock on my door or something I can do online. Well, I need to go somewhere to do it. Tell me.

spk_1:   6:03
Sure, we have innovated. So it used to be that we always said, If it's not on paper, it's not the census. Well, this year, 2020 starting in March mid March, people are gonna be asked to do it online or over the phone for the first time in American history. So there's gonna be a letter that comes through the mail, okay? And it's going to say this is your invitation to respond to the 2020 census on that invitation. There's gonna be a specific code for your address. That code is what you're gonna put into either your online form or you're gonna tell the person in the call center when you call to say, Hey, this is, uh these are the answers to my senses. This is my code. You can also answer without your code just by going through the process of entering in your address in confirming that that's who you are. So you don't necessarily have to have this code. But it makes it easier because it ties the code to your address and helps with confidentiality. So it's really important that people do that initially you're gonna have five reminders about how did you know about doing the senses? The first will be the letter. The second will be a postcard reminder. The 3rd 1 will be a letter that also has the paper census. So if you still haven't done it online or over the phone at that point, you can do it on paper. During your third reminder, your fourth reminder will be, Hey, we sent you the paper we gave you the phone opportunity we gave you online opportunity. Now please get it done as soon as possible. Your fifth reminder will be enumerators have been assigned to your your household, and they'll be coming to knock on your door any day now so that fifth reminders let you know that you've missed the opportunities which you could still do it at that point. But you have not, up to this point, done it. So we have assigned people to come and knock on your door and ask the question. That's what enumerators yet and so to avoid somebody coming and knocking on the door. Just do it online, over the phone or on paper, and you're done. Also. All three of those are confidential, so we don't share any information from any of those answers with any agency. Adult

spk_0:   7:53
people should not have any trepidation about filling out the census. Exactly. That's confidence.

spk_1:   7:59
It is. All we do is create statistics, and then we get a snapshot or a picture of what the United States looks like through statistics. And then we pass that information along to the government and they make decisions based on it. So we're really not using that other than to make statistics. We don't take that specific information that anybody gives us and share that with any other agency or department. So that information is confidential and it's safe for 72 years. So for 72 years, you can't share that information with anyone. After 72 years, it does. We do take it and publish that information.

spk_0:   8:31
Somebody like me that's interested in genealogy can look that information off exactly Cool, Yes, so

spk_1:   8:38
in a way, to it's your legacy. So

spk_0:   8:40
you know you existed at this

spk_1:   8:41
moment in time and you're telling that story of you and your family. And so I think of it this way. My daughters to this will be the first sense that she's ever been on. When my daughter, 74 years old, she'll be able to look up mom and dad at home, where we lived in Richmond, where we know what was going on with us, and she'll see herself

spk_0:   8:59
as a two

spk_1:   8:59
year old living in the house, which

spk_0:   9:01
is it's neat, has anything to do. 72 years, 72 years. Company should worry about giving someone information because it is against the law for that, a numerator or anybody else to pass on your in. For me,

spk_1:   9:14
every single member of the Census Bureau, everybody that's in our department takes an oath of office when they come on to the job. That oath of office includes swearing that you will not share any information that you received for the rest of your life. So when we get the information, it's secure for the rest of our for the rest of our lives. So we don't share that any information that we collect. In addition to that, if any information is leaked from an individual within the department. We faced a $250,000 fine and five years in prison. So it's nobody in. The Census Bureau is incentivized to share any information that they receive whatsoever. And that's everybody from the very top of the organization all the way down to those enumerators that coming, knocking on the door. So you know the information that people give the Census Bureau. It's safe. It's secure. We spend a lot of time and effort making sure that the I t systems that we're using for the actual secure website that people are going to use, that there's no flaw in the security system, that people's answers are gonna be confidential. But you also think about it. You're not providing any information to the census that could be used to steal your identity

spk_0:   10:15
because you're not providing,

spk_1:   10:17
so you don't have to worry about that part of the financial side of it being afraid of fraud. But what you do need to make sure that you're aware of is that in during this time period, there may be people they're trying to defraud other people and pretend to be members of the Census Bureau. So there's two methods that we used to make sure that that information is accurate. So when we have a website 2020 census dot gov slash rumors, where we actually put information on that website about room current rumors that are in the public that people are concerned about and dispelling that information to make sure that accurate information is getting out of the public, we also have a method where people can report rumors that they're hearing on that same website. We also have a fraud line where you can call if you suspect somebody in your area of committing fraud of pretending to be a Census Bureau employees. And that number is 1 800 9 to 38282 And it actually connects locally to the area since this office and they can confirm right then and there whether the person you're dealing with is

spk_0:   11:15
a Census Bureau of your employees, a type of identification, what a Census Bureau, every

spk_1:   11:21
single numerator, every single since this employee has a badge from the Department of Commerce. So it's a it's a legit government badge, and if someone has not provided that to you. You should ask for it

spk_0:   11:33
just wearing it, like on the lean

spk_1:   11:35
wearing on lanyard where they'll have it attached to their belt.

spk_0:   11:41
Because I work for trustful coming public schools. I'm wondering, How will this census information How does it affect Children in our school system?

spk_1:   11:50
So before we get into that, I want to mention in 2010 we missed the 1,000,000 kids across the United States. Now, the census knows that because we look at information from other departments, we look at health records. School records were able to see that these kids were here, but their answers were not included on the census. Now because of that, that meant that across the United States, a 1,000,000 kids went under funded for 10 years. So think of that school age kid who was five years old from 5 to 15. That kid was underfunded because they weren't put on the census. Now what does that mean? Well, that means programs like snap programs like early childhood education programs like a free and reduced lunch in the school systems. Those were all under funded for the amount of kids that we had across the United States, of America.

spk_0:   12:35
How did that?

spk_1:   12:36
So it happens for lots of different reasons. We don't have one specific reason why people forget to put the kid on the answer to the senses. Sometimes it's, ah, you know, shared custody situations. Sometimes it's kids that may be experiencing homelessness that are living with a relative or a friend for a short period of time and aren't included on their answers. Sometimes there's individuals that may be living with an extended family member, and that family member didn't remember to put them on the census. Or there's some people that just don't complete the census and they happen to have kids. And we all know who have kids, how busy we are. So so

spk_0:   13:07
some of those households in mind yet. But some of those

spk_1:   13:10
households, that's the reason why. So there's many different reasons why this may have happened. But the principal thing that we want everybody to understand is that every child in your household accounts and they count for a different amount for different localities prefer here in Chesterfield. It's about $2000 a person, so that's over 10 years

spk_0:   13:28
matters. Yeah, so

spk_1:   13:29
then if you take 2000 by times. 10. That's $20,000 over 10 years and funding that's supposed to come back for programs that help schools programs to help your Children. That won't be there. So we need to make sure that we include that every child that lives in her household on the senses.

spk_0:   13:46
How does the senses affect schools then, like I heard you sort of leave that in there. It's for fun, for programming, for preschools, for free, then reduced lunch. Is there anything else that I'm messing? Yeah,

spk_1:   13:58
there's some grants that are available to certain areas that would ultimately go to schools that are determined with the information that's provided on the census, just like I mentioned private business in public sector. There are a lot of different nonprofits and things that would work through the information on the census to provide additional program different and additional help the school systems. I think of locality local nonprofits here like feed more. You know, ones like that, they're going to use the data from the census as well to make determinations about what they're going to do to help the school systems. So it's it's not just the federal funding coming back. It's all the funding that's attached all these programs that are already there helping school systems, public libraries as, well. E that ties into the school system. They have a lot of programs that across across the public libraries and this public schools,

spk_0:   14:46
any

spk_1:   14:46
of the things that you think about in the county that are gonna use federal funding to expand. They have an effect on schools, even roads and highways. You think about the school bus, you know, that's that's all affected by the answers to the senses.

spk_0:   14:59
I'm an educator. What kind of resource is do you have available to teach people about the census?

spk_1:   15:05
I am. I personally have been very impressed with how much we have already from the Census Bureau. 2020 census dot gov. If you go to that Web site, you can look at partners and outreach materials, and all of the outreach materials that we've already created are in different languages in English, Spanish, um, and you can go in there and there's public facing so you can download or take a copy of anything that's already on there to share in your community share with your partner's share with people you know down the block from you. You want to make sure they understand what distances that's all there. We also have a YouTube channel where we've created P essays that talk about the census, how it's important. We also have some in multiple different languages as well, so you can go in there and see those. The census has also done a great job of working with local complete count committees. So here in Chesterfield, we have a complete count committee on the state level. We have a complete count committee, and they also have outreach materials specific to our localities. Sono Chesterfield County in particular, has made bookmarks that their public libraries, both in English and Spanish, that say 2020 census shape your future, and it's explaining why it's important. And then they have their local a complete count website on that as well.

spk_0:   16:16
From

spk_1:   16:16
the state level, the state designed different outreach materials that go to different subgroups within our demographics in the state and why it's important to those subgroups to answer the census. So those are all on their website on the Virginia Complete Count Commission website.

spk_0:   16:32
You

spk_1:   16:32
just look up Google Virginia Complete Count Commission. You can see the outreach materials

spk_0:   16:36
and get it from the liberation. It is a lot of V C C c. Yeah, that's

spk_1:   16:42
right. So but check it out. You know, it's great that the localities, especially rich Richmond and Rico Chesterfield have been so engaged. And I'm doing a great job to get the message out.

spk_0:   16:52
And we are looking here in Chester County. Public school is having an event next month. Yes, yeah, more about every person counts. That's

spk_1:   16:59
another great program. We have the program called Statistics and Schools. Basically, Census Bureau hired over 400 public school teachers across the U. S Prior thio kicking off the census. So is, like 2016 2017. And they started building lessons that you could use full on lessons that you could print off both with student materials and the teachers sort of lesson plan. And you can follow it exactly. And it teaches the importance of census across different curriculum. It's ah, some math and science.

spk_0:   17:28
I looked at it. It's amazing. Cross curricular! Stop

spk_1:   17:32
it. It's history. They have l l and S l lessons as well. They have some lessons completely in Spanish. For the Spanish teachers like me out there, it's really, really an outstanding resource. And so our Senses Six Schools Program on March 13th is going to be exactly about that. So we're gonna have we're on a first talk a little bit about census and why it's important, like we've done here today. But then we're gonna break into smaller groups, and we're gonna give examples of what is available in for people to use in the classroom and sort of go through the lesson plans so that people understand how elaborate it is and how great it is and how useful it is. Also gonna have stuff for the young kids here coloring books and and thinks that since has created for the pre K that's also in statistics and schools. But if you go,

spk_0:   18:13
it's not just for teachers. Write. This imprint is for educators and refer the whole community

spk_1:   18:18
right? And so if you are interested in looking that now, if you just search statistics and schools, you can go on. You can see all the resource is there also public facing you don't need, like a special account or anything you can just go in there, pull the lesson plans off and you could start using them tomorrow. If you're a teacher and you got a sick day and I wanna make sure you're covered, you know, that would be a great idea. There you go. There's a lesson.

spk_0:   18:40
And there's other cool things. Like you showed me that one. The meter, that one page dissent. What is it called S

spk_1:   18:46
O. It's a population tracker. So it's on our main site, the census dot gov site on. You can see the world population and also the national population and how we still have a surplus on both. So the U. S. We're still gaining a person. I think it's like every four and 1/2 seconds, and it's even more on the world level. Our population is increasing, so we're having more people still born than are passing away. And so it's interesting to look at it because it just keeps ticking

spk_0:   19:20
up. But that's also

spk_1:   19:22
important for people. Understand why the census is so important. Because if you think about it, if a single person is missed 10 years from now, the population is gonna be greater. So ultimately were always fighting, being underfunded. So we need to make sure that we're not more underfunded by getting a complete count of everybody today.

spk_0:   19:38
Justin, thank you so much. Oprah. We're spending this time with us and I look forward to working with you. Then on March 13th thanks to all those folks listening. And I hope everybody gets out there because every account they dio thank you so

spk_1:   19:53
much for giving the time. And we're gonna blast on March 13th. Come out, We'll have some food. What fun. Come out and

spk_0:   19:58
learn aboutthe So there you have it. Make sure that you participate in the census count and like Justin said, make sure that we include our Children in the count to I thought it was super interesting that Justin noted Children under five years old are among the population groups that are historically undercounted in the senses. And we want Children in our community to have the resource is that they need over the next 10 years, so every person counts. We hope to see you all at the statistics in schools event aptly named Every person counts on March 13th at the C. T. C at Hall, which is 13900 whole street road in Midlothian and it's 23112 And if you have not check out, the resource is on the website census dot gov And thanks for engaging with US music credit Radio Martine. By Kevin McCloud.