Census takers head to neighborhoods

Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram
The Census Bureau will plan a "final push" outreach effort this month to reach out communities that haven't responded to the census.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Census Bureau is inviting Kansas residents to join in our STOP THE KNOCK campaign. The campaign kicks off this week and is designed to encourage residents to respond to the Census now, to lessen the possibility of a Census employee knocking on their door this month.

Currently the state of Kansas holds a 66.6 percent self-response rate, which is above the national average.

Households can still self-respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English). Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.

CENSUS TAKERS IN NEIGHBORHOODS

Census takers have started working in neighborhoods throughout all counties in Kansas. They will be visiting households that have not yet self-responded to the Census, to collect responses. Census takers will follow local public health guidelines, will be wearing masks and are trained on social distancing protocols.

Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. They will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.

If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

Census takers can be identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at 1-800-852-6159.

Rural communities count on Census data. Census responses provide data that can attract new businesses and the jobs that come with them. It also helps to disperse billions of dollars in federal funding. That includes money for things like:

- Emergency Management/Disaster Relief

- Medicare Part B

- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

- Rural education

- State wildlife grants

- Rural business enterprise grants

Census data is also used to determine representation in Congress, to make sure rural voices are heard.

For more information go to www.2020census.gov.