Monday, March 26, 2018
City of Providence leads Complete Count Committee in preparation for 2020 Census
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza, members of Rhode Island’s federal delegation and representatives of the Providence City Council joined Cyndie Wilmot, President of the Providence Community Library Board of Directors, Jeff Behler, U.S. Census Bureau New York Regional Director and members of the organizations comprising the Providence Complete Count Committee at the Wanskuck Community Library to encourage Providence County residents to respond to the 2018 End-to End Census Test questionnaire either online or by phone.
Led by the City of Providence, the Complete Count Committee consists of local organizations that are working together to promote awareness of and participation in the 2018 End-to-End Census Test. Providence County was selected to serve as the only full-scale, end-to-end test of operations in the country to prepare for the 2020 Census and includes almost 280,000 housing units.
“The City and members of the Complete Count Committee recognize the importance of the Census and the impact it can have on funding for services and programs, including road repairs, school lunches and aid for seniors,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “As a diverse city with many historically undercounted communities, we’re rising to meet the challenge of preparing all residents to be counted in the upcoming 2020 Census.”
The U.S. Census Bureau began accepting responses to questionnaires for the Census Test, consisting of ten questions that take about ten minutes to complete, on March 16, 2018. Beginning on May 9, 2018, census enumerators will visit households that have not responded to the questionnaire.
“This week, the Census begins a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 2020 Census and it is important to Rhode Island and the nation. From new school construction to transportation funding, the Census helps the government determine where to allocate money and helps businesses decide where to set up shop,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Providence County is the only site in the nation where the Census Bureau will conduct a full-scale end-to-end field test for the 2020 population count. We want to ensure a fair and accurate census count, and the best way to do that is to ensure people can easily and conveniently participate. This field test will help hone strategies for reaching all members of our diverse communities, and it could help boost the state’s economy in the short-term while saving U.S. taxpayers in the long run.”
Respondents may respond online or by filling out a paper questionnaire in English and Spanish. Telephone assistance is available in multiple languages, such as English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic and Tagalog.
“Government delivers the best results when decisions are based on good data,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I hope all Providence-area residents will take a few minutes to fill out the Census so Rhode Island’s economy can get our fair share of federal investment.”
In addition to these services, the organizations that compose the Providence Complete Count Committee will be performing outreach to promote awareness and participation among the populations that they each serve. For instance, a laptop computer will be dedicated at the circulation desk at every Providence Community Library and the Mayor’s Center for City Services at Providence City Hall for individuals to respond to the Census survey. Outstanding overdue fines up to $5 will be waived for individuals who fill out the survey at a Providence Community Library location.
“As all of us know, the Census plays an essential part in the way American government functions. We use the results to make many important decisions, including how many federal dollars each state receives. That’s why I am glad that Providence County will serve as a test site over the coming weeks,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “During this test, our state will help set the standards that will be used in the coming years. I urge all Rhode Islanders to do anything they can to help make this test as successful as possible.”
Ensuring that an accurate and complete count is taken of all of Rhode Island’s residents during the 2020 Census holds serious implications for the state’s future congressional district apportionment. Based on the 2010 Census apportionment, Rhode Island has the smallest average district size (527,624) of any state.
“The decennial census is crucial to our democracy, and Providence County residents have a vital role to play in preparation for 2020. To ensure the most accurate data is collected, I encourage residents to complete the 2018 Census test,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Census statistics have major consequences for Rhode Island and the entire nation by informing the distribution of government resources and guiding public policymaking. I join my colleagues in urging residents to do their part to improve the 2020 Census collection procedures by completing the brief questionnaire.”
The 2020 Census has the potential to affect federal financial assistance funding levels to the state for the next decade. Counting for Dollars 2020, a study released by George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy in March 2018, identifies 16 of the largest federal assistance programs for which the equitable distribution of funds to a state depends on the accurate measurement of its population count and characteristics, such as Community Development Block Grant funds, Medicaid and Medicare.
“The 2020 Census may be the most important Census in the history of Rhode Island,” said Providence City Council President David A. Salvatore. “The 2020 Census can affect our representation in Washington, and the amount of funding our state receives for federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare, and other important programs. By participating in this end-to-end test, Providence County residents have an opportunity to help shape the 2020 Census for the United States, and I encourage everyone to take the time to log-on and be counted.”
The 2018 Census Test is a critical part of preparations for the nation’s upcoming 2020 Census and presents an opportunity for residents in the area to participate in the Census Bureau’s final stages of planning for a complete and accurate 2020 Census. The 2018 Census Test will help the Census Bureau validate its readiness for 2020 Census operations, procedures, systems and field infrastructure for the decennial census.
“The 2018 Census Test is the culmination of that research, providing a rich environment to test all major components of the 2020 Census,” said Jeff Behler, NY Regional Director for the U.S. Census Bureau. “The primary objective of the test is to confirm key technologies, data collection methods, outreach and promotional strategies, and management and response processes that will be deployed in support of the 2020 Census.”
The Providence Complete Count Committee is composed of Higher Ground International, Providence Community Libraries, Center for Southeast Asians, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), Millennial RI, NAACP, RI Latino Political Action Committee (RILPAC), Skills for RI Future, Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP), RI Day of Portugal, RI Hispanic Bar Association, Youth Pride Inc., Youth in Action, Dorcas International Institute, Providence Housing Authority, Providence Public Schools, Brown University, Rhode Island College, Johnson and Wales University, and Providence College.
About the U.S. Census Bureau: The Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. Census responses are safe, secure and protected by law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. For more information, please visit the 2018 Census Test page or the Census Bureau’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.