Mayor’s Corner: February 2020

138

Census 2020 is coming in April and it is very important that all the members of our city our counted. By Apr. 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. You have until July to complete your census questionnaire. A few things to keep in mind with the census:

  • No law enforcement agency (not the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, nor any other agency) can access or use your personal census information at any time.
  • The Census Bureau will never ask for a Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Renters and college students who reside the majority of their time in a city are counted for that city.
  • Non-citizens are counted as well, regardless of legal status.
  • The only persons not included in this count are tourists and other people in the country as temporary visitors.

Online and phone responses to the questionnaire will be available in English and 12 other languages. If a census worker comes to your door, they will have print and video language guides in 59 languages including American Sign Language, braille, and large print guides to assist in communication.

Why is the census important to our city and state? First, the census is used to assign seats in the US House of Representatives. There is a possibility due to Oregon’s growth that we may get an additional seat in the House of Representatives, giving Oregon more clout at the federal level. Secondly, over $800 billion of federal funding is allocated largely based on the population counts in the census. Thirdly, federal, state, and local government agencies rely on census data for planning and delivering education, economic development and employment, health, and transportation services.

Per the Census Bureau there are areas in Tualatin that are considered Hard to Count (HTC). Hard to Count groups include: young children, highly mobile people, non-English speakers, undocumented immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities, rural and low-income families, people experiencing homelessness, the LGBTQ community and people with mental and/or physical disabilities.

The City of Tualatin will actively help promote the census to our community. We’ll do this in a variety of ways. Informational posters about the census will be hung in the in library, Juanita Pohl Center (JPC), and across from Finance counter. Articles in the city and JPC newsletters as well as social media posts will also get the word out. The Library and the Pohl Center will be resource centers, which means we will have trained staff familiar with Census available to assist you and provide computers where the census can be completed.

If you are looking for a temporary position the Census Bureau is hiring. Having community members reach out to HTC’s will help ensure that we are all counted. Go to 2020census.gov/en/jobs.html for more information.

My goal is a complete count of Tualatin. Please help me reach that goal.

Frank Bubenik
fbubenik@tualatin.gov
971-420-7443