Steuben County: It’s Never Been Easier To Answer Census Questions

July 28, 2020

From Steuben County:

Millions of dollars of federal aid is potentially on the line as the 2020 US Census picks up speed this week. Mandated by the US Constitution in 1790, the Census is more important than ever in gathering information, according to Jennifer Karius, Census Bureau spokeswoman The information gathered makes sure the county is represented in Congress, and receives adequate funds for road and bridges, schools, health care, services for seniors and business planning, she said. “This is generally the time the Census starts to wrap up,” Karius told the Steuben Legislature during its regular session Monday. “Instead, we’re really just getting started.” Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, census workers conducted a door-to-door campaign earlier in the year, dropping off questionnaires on doorsteps in the rural areas of the county, she said. Volunteer census workers are now being recruited and trained, in keeping with CDC pandemic guidance, to reach residents who still need to provide the essential information needed to keep vital services at peak levels during the next 10 years, Karius said. Not only is the information collected anonymously under the highest federal security levels, census workers may be sentenced to federal prison for 5 years and/or fined as much as $250,000 if they reveal the information anyone taking the census, she said. The government makes every effort to gather data used to distribute funds, including providing the survey in English and 12 other languages in order to reach 99 percent of the U.S. population, she said. In addition, workers are being trained to reach Amish communities and the homeless in Steuben. “Really, it’s never been easier to take the census,” Karius said. “On line, on the phone, the mail or through a census worker. No one asks your social security number, your bank account or what your politics are.” *** For more information, including taking the census online go to www.census.gov Recruitment for census workers is still under way. For more information go to https://2020census.gov/jobs *** The US Census determines the annual allocation of $675 billion dollars in federal funding for: Medicaid, SNAP, Highway Planning, Section 8 Housing, Special Education Grants, S-CHIP, Title I Grants, National School Lunch Program, WIC, Head Start, Foster Care, Health Center Programs