Alva Review-Courier -

OICA encourages participation in census

 

March 22, 2020



OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is reminding all Oklahomans that now is the time to respond the U.S. Census.

“Everyone should have gotten their Census mailers by now,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s chief executive officer. “The mailers show how to answer the Census on the internet, which is quick and convenient – especially for those who are practicing social distancing by staying at home. And if those who do not answer the Census will likely have a Census worker knock on their doors in the coming weeks.”

The U.S. Census Bureau put letters in the mail last week that should have gone to every household in America. Now, the responsibility falls on Americans to respond to the Census, which is required every 10 years. Dorman noted that for those who did not receive a mailer from the U.S. Census, they could complete their Census questionnaire by telephone.

He pointed to his hometown of Rush Springs, Oklahoma, as an example of a community where residents likely have not received their mailers.

“The post office in Rush Springs will not deliver to physical addresses, only post office boxes,” he said. “The Census sends to physical addresses, so none of the more than 1,000 people in the Rush Springs town limits have received a Census mailer. For those people, calling in is the best option.”

The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1, 2020. To respond to the Census by telephone, call 844-330-2020. There are other numbers for a variety of languages, including Spanish at 844-468-2020. For hearing impaired Oklahomans, the TDD number is 844-467-2020. The phone lines are open every day from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time

The Census Bureau offers resources in English and 59 other languages so that everyone living in the United States can respond to the 2020 Census like our founding fathers intended when they put the Census in the U.S. Constitution.

“It is critical for every Oklahoman to respond to the Census, because the number of people in our state will determine how much of our federal tax dollars we get back in Oklahoma in the form of services,” Dorman said. “That is especially important when it comes to services that help improve the quality of life for our state’s children.”

Estimates are that for each person counted the state will get $1,800 back from the federal government. Oklahoma is estimated to have more than four million people living here, Dorman noted.

“If we miss even one out of every 100 Oklahomans, then we stand to lose $72 million every year,” he said. “Multiply that by the 10 years until the next Census, then Oklahoma would lose close to three-quarters of a billion dollars of our tax dollars that could go to so many worthwhile services, especially those for our children.”

Dorman concluded by encouraging everyone living in Oklahoma on April 1 to respond to the Census, either online, by mail, or – most conveniently – by telephone. For example, foster parents would count their foster children living with them on April 1. Also, college students should be counted where they are on April 1.

“The Constitution requires that we count every ‘person,’ period; and that includes persons living here who are not citizens. Every ‘person’ we count in Oklahoma means more of our federal tax dollars coming back to us and a greater ability to take care of critical needs here in our state.”

 

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