Monday, June 1, 2020
Census Workers Head Door to Door
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Some of the students who are part of the I Have a Dream Foundation-Idaho created videos encouraging friends and family to complete the Census.
 
Friday, May 8, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

A small army of Census workers are beginning to hand-deliver 2020 Census questionnaire packets at the front doors of households in Blaine County and across the state.

Census workers will deliver the questionnaires to the front doors of 51,000 Idaho households and 5.1 million stateside households across the country.

Census Bureau workers had begun to drop off packets on March 15 but suspended fieldwork on March 18 as the COVID-19 pandemic forced Idahoans to shelter-in-place.

Blaine County residents are lagging behind--way behind--in responding to the census. As of last week, just under 23 percent of Blaine County residents had responded. Only 6.6 percent of Camas County residents had responded.

In contrast, about 70 percent of those in Ada, Canyon and Gem counties had responded.

Officials say the fact that Wood River Valley residents don’t have mail delivered to their homes is largely to blame, particularly since census workers have not been able to deliver census forms door to door because of COVID-19.

The Wood River Valley is also unique in that second homeowner or investor property owners constitute 57 percent of the homes, said Wendy Jaquet, who has been very involved in the effort which his headed up by Angenie McCleary, Peter Hendricks and Herbert Romero.

I Have a Dream Foundation-Idaho students were going to hold community events to promote the Census with the help of a grant from the Idaho Community Foundation. But they had to retool their approach due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

So, they created videos, instead, to be distributed to their families and other community members.  Those who created the top three videos received cash gifts.

Filling out the Census is a civic duty, laid out by the Constitution, and a 15-year-old can fill out a form for their family, noted Marilyn Gironn in hers. It only takes 10 minutes to fill out but provides states and counties with more than $675 billion in federal funding for highway construction, school lunch programs, Medicaid, hospitals, and schools for the next 10 years. And it affects how many U.S. senators and representatives the state gets.

You don’t have to be a citizen to fill it out. You can do it online or by phone or mail, she added.

To see Gironn’s video, go to https://www.facebook.com/ihadfoundationidaho/videos/

“In addition to it becoming a friendly competition, the process had the added benefit of teaching the kids about the census and encouraging them to engage their families,” said Laura Rose-Lewis, who oversees the I Have a Dream Foundation program.

Research shows that for every person counted, $1,473 is allocated to Idaho or Blaine County, said Molly Page of Indivisible Blaine County.

The Census does not ask for a social security number or whether the responder is a citiizen. The completed form is anonymous and data is not made available to ICE or local police.

People are encouraged to respond promptly, using the ID number included in the packet. They can respond online, by phone or by using the paper form in the packet.

Go online at www.2020census.gov for English or www.2020census.gov/es for Spanish. Or, call 1-844-330-2020 for English and 1-844-468-2020 for Spanish.

 

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