Published: Wednesday, 19 February 2020
This March, an invitation will arrive in your mail with your name on it. It’s an invitation to complete the online 2020 census questionnaire which, as mandated by the US Constitution, is necessary to gain a complete count of all persons living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. This will also be the first year the census will ask about same-sex relationships, improving the overall quality of the data and lending important visibility to the LGBTIQA+ community. The results of the survey will be used to ensure that resources are distributed fairly among states, cities and individual communities, so if you want our community to be properly represented, make sure you respond to the census!
There are many misconceptions about the census, and we’re here to set the record straight. For starters, the census will NOT have any questions about citizenship or immigration status. According to the official California Census 2020 website, the 2020 census will ask:
- How many people are living at your home on April 1, 2020
- Whether the home is owned or rented
- About the sex of each person in your home
- About the age of each person in your home
- About the race of each person in your home
- About whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
- This question is only asked to create statistics about this ethnic group. It helps ensure that federal agencies are complying with anti-discrimination laws, such as the Civil Rights Act.
- About the relationship of each person in your home
The purpose of these questions is generate statistics to improve governance – the government will NOT be able to punish you or treat you any differently based on your responses. If you’re concerned about privacy, don’t worry. As stated on their website, “The United States Census Bureau (USCB) is required by law to protect any personal information it collects and keep it confidential.” That said, other government agencies will never see your responses.
Additionally, despite rumors of a “citizenship question” on this year’s census, no such question is asked. Furthermore, as the USCB affirms, “Personal information cannot be used against respondents for the purposes of immigration enforcement.” So rest easy knowing that your livelihood is not in danger. In fact, it can even be improved by providing our representatives in Long Beach, Sacramento and even Washington, DC a better understanding of who they are representing.
The census is completely safe and beneficial to our community. Fill it out after March 12 and make sure you are represented!