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Localities encouraging residents to fill out 2020 census: It’s ‘absolutely confidential’

Posted at 6:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 18:16:37-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- With hundreds of billions of federal dollars up for grabs, communities across the nation are gearing up to get their slice of the federal pie.

Data from the 2020 Census will impact funding for resources like schools, libraries, public safety and more. That's why Chesterfield County leaders are taking steps to get the word out.

“The statistics that it shows us, in terms of if the county’s demographics have changed… That’s invaluable information in terms of how we cater to meeting the needs that are in the community,” said Dave Goode, co-chair of Chesterfield’s Complete Count Committee.

The challenge is reaching some segments of the community that may not take the time to fill out census information, giving a count of exactly how many people live in a home.

Juan Santacoloma says their outreach to the multicultural and immigrant community is crucial.

“They can trust in this process,” said Santacoloma. “Because all the information is absolutely confidential. They cannot share your information with anybody… There is no personal information like social security numbers or immigration status, no information about that."

Carolyn Sears, who helps run the Central Library, says their role is significant too, since this year is the first time people can fill out census forms online.

“Go online, fill out the census and it’s available in multiple languages. It should only take about 10 minutes to complete,” said Sears. “We also have librarians who are trained on how to help people fill out their census and can help connect them with the information they need to effectively fill out the census.”

Residents are welcome to stop by any Chesterfield library to fill out their census.

Census Day is April 1, but residents have until the end of July to complete it online or via phone.

As a last resort, if the US Census Bureau doesn’t hear from you, they’ll also send an authorized interviewer door to door to collect the information in person.