Kansas communities work to educate people about 2020 Census

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KWCH) We are just over a month away from the start of the 2020 Census, and the push is on to get everyone to respond.

Officials in Dodge City say people don't realize filling out the census has a direct impact on them and the resources their community receives. Infrastructure, education and public resources for places like libraries are all partially funded based on information obtained from the U.S. Census.

In 2010, only 60 to 70 percent of the people in southwest Kansas filled out the census, and lower participation means less money for the community.

This year, the city formed a "complete count committee" comprised of city representatives, community organizations, and the school district. The goal is to reach out to hard to count populations.

Blanca Soto with Kansas Appleseed says the committee will go now to inform people in the community about how their response will impact them directly.

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“We’re going into churches and a lot of businesses promoting the census. really talking about how to reach those hard to count communities, we are setting up presentations," said Soto.

The complete count committee will hold a series of census workshops in both English and Spanish. You can find the list below:

• Wednesday, February 12, Dodge City Public Library at 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday, February 13, Liberal Memorial Library at 6 p.m.
• Tuesday, February 18, Lakin Public Library at 6:30 p.m. (English) and 7:15 p.m. (Spanish)
• Tuesday, February 25, Finney County Library at 6 p.m.

How does the U.S. Census work?

Most households will receive an invitation to respond to the Census starting March 12. That letter will include an ID number that is tied to their physical address. People are then encouraged to go online with the ID number to respond to the Census. They can also respond over the phone or wait for a paper form to arrive in few weeks. Note: the ID number is NOT required to respond to the Census.

Ninety-five percent of households will receive an invitation letter in the mail. The other 5% includes households counted through different operations, for example, those that receive mail from a P.O. Box, are in an area with low internet connectivity or are considered group quarters – like dorms or nursing homes.

After a series of reminder mailings, if the household has not self-responded, the Census will begin sending census takers door to door to collect responses.

You can find information on where you should be counted, language support and safety to avoid scams at www.2020census.gov.