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Oklahoma City encourages a complete count in 2020 Census

Post Date:01/30/2020 3:28 PM

Do your part to make sure Oklahoma City gets our fair share of federal funding and more by responding to the 2020 Census survey this year.

The City of Oklahoma City wants everyone in our community to be included in the census, a count of every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

A complete and accurate count of Oklahoma City residents in the 2020 Census is critical. Experts estimate each household that doesn't complete the census survey costs our community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person, per year, for 10 years. It also affects congressional representation and more.

Beginning March 12, every home in Oklahoma City will receive an invitation by mail to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you can respond for your household in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. This year marks the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online.

“The census helps determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Health clinics, fire departments, schools – even roads and highways are impacted by the census,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “This is our once-in-a-decade chance to receive the funding our community needs. The census is more than a count. It’s an opportunity to help shape the future of our city.”

The census provides critical data that helps allocate billions of dollars in federal funding each year. Support for many community services are impacted by the census, including but not limited to:

  • Breakfast and lunch programs for schools
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Transit
  • Head Start
  • Highways
  • Hospitals
  • Pell grants

According to 2020 Census Senior Partnership Specialist Jeronimo Gallegos, the most important first step in completing the census is to know the facts.

“The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your personal information and to keep responses confidential,” said Gallegos. “I, like every census worker you’ll see in Oklahoma City, have taken an oath to protect your personal information for life. The census is easy, safe and important.”

The 2020 Census Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed to make it easier to identify and gain insight into historically hard-to-survey areas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, historically undercounted populations in Oklahoma City include non-English speakers, African Americans and families with children under age 5.

“I want the OKC Latino Community to understand that this is our opportunity to be heard and represented. The census is going to help us recognize the true size and growth of the Latino population in Oklahoma City,” said Raul Font, president of the Latino Community Development Agency. “The census is a safe and confidential way for us to help improve the lives of our children and grandchildren who are growing up in this great community. The census will also give us the opportunity to have more seats at the table.”

The U.S. Census Bureau will count you at your usual residence, which is the place where you live and sleep most of the time. People who do not have a usual residence should be counted where they are on April 1.

“It is time to change our historic underrepresentation in Oklahoma City. By taking the census, we are ensuring African-American voices count,” said Oklahoma City Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice. “More than one in three African-Americans live in hard-to-count census tracts. Our communities that aren’t counted often have the most to lose. Programs that impact African-Americans through the census count include education, child care, food benefits, nutrition programs, healthcare and housing.”

The census questionnaire asks simple questions, such as how many people are living or staying in your home on April 1, whether a home is owned or rented and the age of each person in your home. The census will not ask for your social security number, citizenship status, bank accounts or any questions on behalf of a political party. Learn more about the census at okc.gov/census.

About Be Counted OKC

The City of Oklahoma City and partners throughout the community want every Oklahoma City resident to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. The federal government uses Census data to help determine important local factors like tax funding and representation in Congress. Experts estimate each household that doesn't complete the Census survey costs our community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person, per year, for 10 years.

Media Contact
Kristy Yager
(405) 297-2550
kristy.yager@okc.gov

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