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Sept. 30 deadline
By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON — Collingsworth County Judge John James is urging everyone to make sure and complete the 2020 census report.
“The deadline is Sept. 30,” he said. “Giving this information to the Census Bureau helps our community. The process in so simple, and can be completed by mail, phone or online.”
With the deadline of Sept. 30 looming only a month away, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting several Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) events through the Panhandle including Wellington.
According to Census Media Specialist Brenda MacDonald, staff from Amarillo visited businesses around the Collingsworth County Courthouse Square Aug. 26. Census workers provided material so they are able to reach all who walk through their doors.
“Future MQA in high traffic areas are planned through the end of September since our time to respond has been cut short by one month,” said MacDonald.
Bilingual Census Bureau response assistants will be on-hand to answer questions and will provide the use of iPads and assist people at the following locations: Sept. 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Collingsworth County Courthouse and Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Powell Field at the Rockets versus New Deal game.
“Wellington has a 53 percent self response rate and Collingsworth County’s self-response rate is 46.3 percent,” MacDonald added. “Childress County’s self-response rate is 52.1 percent and the City of Childress has a 52.2 percent self-response rate.”
Higher self-response rates mean fewer people are likely to be missed or counted inaccurately and fewer households will have a visit from a census taker to be counted in-person noted MacDonald. It also means Childress and Wellington have a better chance at receiving their fair share of services and political representation.
Last Friday, Census specialists visited Childress Bobcat fans at the game versus Panhandle at Rock Stadium. Monday, Aug. 31 they covered Childress Elementary.
“2020 Census data collection will end Sept. 30, and the U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging everyone to respond between now and the deadline of Sept. 30,” MacDonald said. “The 2020 Census impacts how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to communities each year. Funds are used for critical programs and services such as food assistance, including SNAP and WIC, new roads, infrastructure improvements, and area hospitals and clinics. The Census occurs every 10 years and counts everyone living in the U.S.”
Federal law protects census responses. Answers can only be used to produced statistics and the Census does not share information with immigration or law enforcement agencies or allow it to be used to do determine eligibility for government benefits.
Households can continue to self-respond online at 2020census.gov or by phone 844-330-202 for English or 844-468-2020 for Spanish. Self-responding online, by phone, or by mail reduces the likelihood a census taker will visit a person’s home.