In addition to the apportionment of federal legislative representation, the constitutionally-mandated Census is the national tool to determine the allocation of various resources to the states, and from the states to the localities.
The Census is administered by the United States Census Bureau, a division of the Department of Commerce. Census day is April 1, which is ‘the day’ to count the people in a home. Between March 12 and 20, U.S. residents will receive mail with invitations on the methods to respond. Those methods are online, mail, and – if no responses are received – by home information collectors. Here is the specific source for advance information about the Census process.
Recently this writer attended an informative training session about the Census, its process, and its outcomes hosted by the United Way of North Central Florida.
At that program the attendees learned “The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.” 4 Specifically, “Census results affect planning and funding for infrastructure—including programs for highway planning and construction, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.” 5 And to allay the public’s privacy concerns, the presenter (who was not a government representative) noted online Census responses are provided securely and confidentially.
Now for the useful Census sources and resources.
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For a full report on Census-based resource deployment . Florida-specific information, https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk (until March 31, 2020), Finding & Using U.S. Census Data, and particularly Census Information.
So why the focus in this article on so much data-driven information and resources? Because the Census itself is an arithmetic and statistical exercise.
And the ‘bottom-line’, as it were…It is quite important that Americans respond to Census queries. First, if they do not, then interviewers will eventually show-up at the front door. Second, local resources are dependent upon the data outputs. For example, it is already predicted that Florida will pick-up new congressional representatives 6 (which, of course, means other states will lose some representatives).
So please respond and ‘count’. This writer filled-out a sample Census paper form. It took five minutes.
Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution states in part, “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States”. 3 Which is the source of the decennial national Census.
2 SBA Administrator Carranza Applauds President’s Efforts to Reduce Public Health Barriers and Protect America’s Small Businesses, https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.
4 The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform the allocation of hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provide data that affects communities for the next decade.
5 School lunches. Plans for highways. Support for firefighters and families in need. Census results affect your community every day.
6 Projection shows Florida and North Carolina among states that could gain congressional seats after Census.
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– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.614.3958, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
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