By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
The 2020 Census is fast approaching. In preparation, Mayor Tom Barrett is urging Milwaukeeans to participate, with the hope that their efforts will help Wisconsin in the long run.
“It has always been a priority for me to make sure everyone in Milwaukee matters, everyone counts,” said Barrett in a press release.
The Census, which is mandated by the United States Constitution, does more than count the number of people per state. The data collected through the Census helps determine how many representatives’ states will receive in Congress, determine state and national districts and how much funding each state receives.
In the past, Wisconsin has received $12.6 billion in federal funding. Typically, $800 billion is distributed by Congress to the states according to the data gathered by the census. These funds go towards public safety, health, education and transportation to name a new.
Essentially, participating in the census is crucial to ensure Wisconsin receives the funding it needs to maintain or improve certain areas and issues within the state. The number of people counted will determine if Wisconsin and by extension Milwaukee receive more or less federal funding.
As part of his efforts to ensure that every Milwaukee resident is counted, Barrett proclaimed this past Monday April 1, as Census Call to Action Day. According to the press, release the goal is to, “heighten awareness of the critical need to count every Milwaukee resident.”
Furthermore, the City of Milwaukee plans to form a Complete Count Committee (CCC). The CCC’s purpose is to count Milwaukee’s “hard to count population.” The committee will be run by the Department of Administration.
The goal is to ensure it census counts the following populations: people of color, low-income individuals, homeless individuals, single-parent households, individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL) and foreign-born residents.
In the past, these groups have been harder to count compared to others. However, Milwaukee wants to ensure that everyone is counted in 2020. Milwaukee residents are encouraged to help people be reached.
In addition to the CCC, Wisconsin residents are encouraged to help in another way. The Census Bureau is looking for people across the country to help with the census. Thousands of people are needed as census takers, recruiting assistants, office staffs and supervisory staff. Those interested must be 18 years old, have a valid social security number and be a U.S. citizen. Individuals can apply at 2020census.gov/jobs.
“I want everyone to participate in the census and I want to engage partners and citizens to help us make sure we count every person in our city,” Barrett said in a press release.