(Camden, NJ) – The countdown to the finish the 2020 Census is on. This week, July 27 to Aug. 2, is Census PUSH Week in New Jersey, a week of action to drive participation in the 2020 Census count before census takers begin visiting homes in August.
Part of PUSH Week is a regional challenge to see which counties and municipalities have the highest self-response percentage increase over the week. Camden County currently has a 66.3 percent self-response rate, beating the statewide rate of 64.3 percent, but individual rates vary by municipality.
“The population as measured by the Census helps to determine how more than $45 billion of annually awarded federal funds are distributed in New Jersey, how many elected representatives we get in Congress, and how services are distributed throughout our community,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez. “If you have not yet completed the Census, there is no time to waste. We need every person who lives in Camden County to be counted, and to tell their friends and family how easy and important their participation is to their local community.”
The Census is mandated in the U.S. Constitution to take place every ten years, but this year’s count may be even more important as the Census will inform what we need as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the Census has never been easier to complete, and residents can complete their Census online, by mail, or by phone, all from their home without violating social distancing measures.
Why is it important for the Census to go forward in the face of this crisis? The Census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for our community. Every year billions of dollars in federal funding goes to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on Census data, and now, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the importance of having a complete and accurate count for our state, our county and our towns is greater than ever.
“The Census is safe, it’s easy, it’s extremely important, and you can eliminate the need for a census taker to visit you in person by completing the Census voluntarily right away,” Rodriguez said. “We only get a limited amount of time to make sure everyone is counted, so it is extremely important that you don’t wait, and fill it out now. Once you have, help us spread the word in the community to get everyone you know to participate.”
This is our once-in-every-ten-years chance to help each other when it comes to federal government resources and the redrawing of congressional and state election districts. For more information about the 2020 Census, including how to complete it online, by phone or by U.S. Mail, please visit https://2020census.gov.