As people across New México continue to adapt to the new reality and challenges posed by the response to the COVID-19 threat, the Center for Civic Policy is reminding and urging the public to self-respond to the 2020 Census in one of three ways: online, via paper, or over the phone.
Since March 12, every household across the country began receiving official U.S. Census Bureau mail inviting them to self-respond to the decennial count. Making sure every person in New México is counted is crucial to ensure every child and family in the state receives their fair share of funding and political representation for the next 10 years.
“An accurate count is critical to ensure funding for education, healthcare, and infrastructure –for the next decade– find its way to our communities across New México,” said Eli Cuna, statewide Census coordinator for the Center for Civic Policy. “This is our once-every-ten-years opportunity to create the right foundation for our present and future generations. And it all starts by filling out the census form.”
According to George Washington University, in 2016, New México received an estimated $7.8 billion in federal funding based on data from the 2010 census count. The funding came directly through 55 federal programs that include: Medicaid, SNAP, CHIP, and more.
For every person that is not counted in the decennial count, New México loses an average of $3,700 every year, according to data from the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies Department. A 1% population undercount, in New México, would result in over $600 million lost in federal funding, over a ten year period.
“Even before the new COVID-19 reality, New México faced a series of challenges to get an accurate count because of the rural nature of our state and the fact not all households have access to reliable broadband access,” said James Povijua, policy director for the Center for Civic Policy. “Despite the challenges, New Mexicans across the state have stepped up and come together to ensure the importance of the census is shared to every corner of the state. And in this same spirit, we will continue to innovate our outreach tactics and motivate our communities to self-respond to the 2020 Census either online, via paper, or over the phone.”
During the 2020 Legislature, state officials appropriated a total of $8.5 million to carry out a comprehensive education and outreach campaign to encourage every New Mexican to participate in the 2020 Census.
As of March 18, the U.S. Census Bureau announced all field operations are suspended until April 1st, as part of their COVID-19 response. The Census Bureau is till prioritizing self-response as the best way to provide the most accurate data during the decennial count.
Community groups currently carrying out digital and phone outreach across the state to motivate New Mexicans to fill out the 2020 Census include: Somos Un Pueblo Unido, NM Native Census Coalition, El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Asian Family Center, NM Dream Team, Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County, and NM CAFé.
The 2020 Census can be completed in 14 languages. To complete the online self-response form visit: my2020census.gov.To complete the census over the phone dial: 1-844-330-2020.
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