The US Census Bureau will begin to send out notices to all US residents beginning March 12th. For the first time in history, residents can now go online to complete their questionnaire. They can also call a toll-free number or just mail it in. Initial postcards, and in many cases here in Tuolumne County, the questionnaires themselves will be delivered between March 12-20th.
Tuolumne County is part of California’s Complete Count Committee and will be working diligently to ensure all residents are counted. An accurate count is important because it will decide how funding is allocated over the next ten years. Funds will help provide for important projects and services such as roads, schools, housing, public safety and other programs critical to a healthy community. Data collected from the Census also determines congressional representation and helps businesses, developers and others know what may be needed where, thus creating more jobs.
Tuolumne County is considered a hard-to-count area due to its geographical nature and lack of broadband in the area. In response, the County has received a grant from the State to help facilitate a complete count. The County’s subcontractor, Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency is working with the County and other regional partners to provide awareness, education and access points to help residents complete the Census.
Households will receive a code with their mailed notice, matching them to their address. The Census Bureau will ask for the code when submitting online or phoning in. If someone has recently moved, does not receive a notice or does not live at an address where a notice is likely to be mailed, they can still be counted by going online or making a phone call. They can simply submit the address where they are living, or if no address, the nearest cross street.
The first stage of the Census count is called the self-response period. During this time, all library branches, the Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency and other area partners will provide internet and phone access to the public so that they may submit their questionnaire. ATCAA will also be providing pop-up kiosks at a variety of locations throughout the county during and after this period. When the self-response period is over in late April, Census workers will begin knocking on doors.
Residents are reminded that completing the Census will not only help our future, it is our right as it is written into our constitution and it’s the law. The questionnaire is only nine questions, less than that for additional family members and due to a court ruling in 2019, does not contain a citizenship question.
The Tuolumne County Complete Count Committee has set up a website and an information line to help residents navigate how and where they can be counted. To learn more visit https://www.tccounts.org/or call the Tuolumne County Census Helpline at 209-268-6962. To get counted, call the US Census Bureau at 844-330-2020 or submit your questionnaire online at https://my2020census.gov/