Editor’s note: The following is the latest in a series of submissions from the Edina Complete Count Committee.

Before April 1, 2020, every household in the U.S. will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 census.

Once your invitation arrives, you should respond in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail if you received the paper packet. When responding to the census, tell the U.S. Census Bureau where your main residence is as of April 1, 2020.

The 2020 census is crucial to Minnesota receiving funding for programs, and every person not counted could mean forfeiting nearly $28,000 in funding over the next 10 years. Further, Minnesota is at risk of losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, also impacting the number of votes in the electoral college.

To complete the census, you must provide information for each person – from babies to adults – who live and sleep in the home most of the time. If a person is living at your residence who does not have a permanent place to live, count them, too.

If a member of your household is away at college, in the military, living in a nursing home, or in jail, detention or prison, do not count them.

Complete the census as soon as you receive it. In May, census takers begin visiting the homes of those who have not responded. Please complete yours early to avoid the need for a census taker to visit your home.

You, or whoever is completing the form for the household, will answer questions 1, 2, 3 and 4 on page one of the form. These questions will inform the U.S. Census Bureau of the number of people living or staying in this residence on April 1, 2020. You will also be able to indicate if there are people in the home on April 1 who are not residents such as temporary guests or non-relatives.

The form will also ask you to show the home’s status as being owned, rented or occupied without rent.

The final question on page one is to provide a telephone number of the person completing the form. The U.S. Census Bureau staff will call you only if needed for official census bureau business.

Below are identical copies of Questions 5-9 and where you will provide information about each person living in the residence.

These questions will request the following information about each person in the residence:

5. First and last name

6. Sex

7. Age and date of birth

8. Is person of Hispanic origin

9. Race and ethnic origin

How will you be sure that the 2020 census form you receive is really from the U.S. Census Bureau? Here is specific information that will help you know that your information is confidential and is going to the U.S. Census Bureau:

1. The mailing is from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

2. The return address is “National Processing Center, 1201 East 10th Street, Jeffersonville, Indiana.”

3. The packet will include a postage-paid return envelope which has the return address on it.

4. If you receive a follow-up letter reminding you to complete and return your 2020 Census form, it may have a return address of a regional office or census headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area.

If you have not completed and returned your 2020 census form in a reasonable time, a census bureau field representative may come to your residence. They will have an identification badge that will include their name, photograph and the U.S. Department of Commerce watermark as well as an expiration date. The field representative will identify themselves and provide you with an official letter on Bureau of Census letterhead. Field representatives conduct home surveys to secure information between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

If you are unable to be contacted, the 2020 census office in Jeffersonville may call you from Jeffersonville, Indiana (812-218-3144), or Tucson, Arizona (520-798-4152).

If you wish to call the census bureau to verify that you have received a call from their office, you can call the Jeffersonville office at 1-800-523 3205 or the Tucson office at 1-800-642-0469.

Just remember – everyone counts.

Copyright © 2019 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

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