Office of the President

August 20, 2019

Everyone counts in the upcoming 2020 Census

Ana Mari Cauce

Next year, the federal government will make an effort to count every person in the country as part of the 2020 Census. This national exercise is essential for our democracy. And ensuring it is as accurate as possible – which relies on your participation – is vital for our collective success.

The census guides policy-makers at every level of government by providing vital information about the people they serve. Each year, more than $800 billion in federal and state funding is allocated to communities across the country based on census data. By having a better understanding of who makes up our communities – from parents, children and elders, to renters, homeowners and those without homes – leaders are able to determine where to locate essential public services like schools, child care centers, hospitals, roads and mobility networks, and other critical public infrastructure. The census also informs lawmakers about what policies may be best for a local community, from those directing economic development and educational requirements to guidelines for housing needs and resources for first-responders. And lastly, but certainly not least, an accurate count ensures fair representation in everything from the Electoral College and the U.S. House of Representatives to the Washington State Legislature and local voting and school districts.

2020 Census Resources

We will update this post with more resources, including opportunities to work or volunteer for the 2020 Census, as they become available.

2020 Census: Everyone Counts  (WA Office of Financial Management)

Seattle Census 2020

Hágase Contar 2020 Census  (english and en español)

Count Us In 2020          (Information specific for Asian American & Pacific Islander communities)

Getting an accurate count is critical and requires all of us to do our part by both filling out the questionnaire and encouraging our family, friends and neighbors to do so as well. I am proud to serve on the King County Regional Census Committee, joining leaders across the region to help coordinate efforts and ensure that no one is forced into the shadows – regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race, language, sexual orientation or citizenship. It is important to note that information collected during the census is protected by law and remains confidential for 72 years. An individual’s personal information cannot be shared with anyone outside the Census Bureau, including other government agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or local law enforcement. The state Office of Financial Management has published an informative factsheet on the census and confidentiality, which offers additional details.

We have seen the detrimental effects of inequity in our society, from racial gaps in educational access to the growing number of those unsheltered on our streets. A more equitable world requires more equitable representation in government. As the 2020 Census gets underway, remember why this matters to our community. Let’s make sure everyone is counted.