There is still time to complete the 2020 Census

Mike Milbrandt

If you haven’t completed your 2020 Census form, you still have time to do so! The importance of having a complete count on the census cannot be overstated, as an accurate count benefits everyone in the entire country.

Tracy Wellendorf, Montevideo Community Center Director and chair of the local 2020 Census Committee, explained: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it comes as no surprise that 2020 Census operations have been pushed back and extended. Self-response will now end on October 31, 2020, while non-response follow up will take place from August 11 through October 31.”

As mentioned above, a complete count of all persons in the United States, as required by the Constitution every 10 years, benefits everyone.

Wellendorf said: “It is important to remember that local services and businesses benefit from a complete count of everyone residing within our community. If our community is undercounted, our service providers will be underfunded. A complete count means that these organizations and agencies have funding for the resources, staffing, and opportunities it takes to adequately serve those residing within and around the Montevideo community for the next 10 years!”

Local businesses and services and services that stand to benefit from a complete census count include: CCM Health, the Montevideo School District, the Montevideo-Chippewa County Library, Prairie Five Community Action Council, mental health providers, nonprofits, businesses, and various governmental agencies. Filling out your 2020 Census determines how much funding these various businesses and services will receive for the next decade.

Data from the 2020 Census will determine how billions of dollars in federal funds will be distributed. Counting everyone ensures our communities will get a fair share of those financial resources.

The data also determines fair representation in government, all the way from Montevideo to St. Paul and to Washington, D.C. For those who may not know, census data is used to determine the number of representatives at both the state and federal levels.

Responding to the census is easy. Simply take a few minutes to fill out the form, if you haven’t already done so, and drop it in the mail. Responding can also be done by phone at 844-330-2020 or online at <my2020census.gov>

Whichever way you choose, responding only takes a few minutes, but by responding, you can take part in shaping the future of our country for the next 10 years.

“This is the most inclusive civic activity we can participate in,” said Wellendorf. “Every response matters, and they are essential for our community to thrive. If we don’t have a complete count, our local resources will be strained and our residents will be underserved, underfunded, and under-represented.”

As of Tuesday, July 28, the national response rate stood at 62.6 percent. Minnesota leads the country with a 72 percent response rate.

Chippewa County had a response rate of 70.5 percent, slightly lower than the state rate but still much higher than the national rate.

In our area, Yellow Medicine County’s response rate stood at 69.6 percent, while Lac qui Parle had a 66.5 percent rate. Swift County had a 67.9 percent rate of response, and Kandiyohi had a 67.2 percent rate.

Montevideo’s response rate was at 70.1 percent, while Granite Falls had a 73.9 percent rate. Clara City had a response rate of 71.5 percent, Maynard had a 58.6 percent rate, and Milan had a 56.8 percent rate.

Those who have not responded by August 10 can expect to be visited by census workers beginning on August 11. Please respond; it is very important!