Clark County is teaming up with multiple community partners to ask every household in Southern Nevada to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census as part of a "Win the Census" campaign.
Starting Thursday, March 12, the first day people can take the census online or by phone, a community kickoff will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas. The kickoff will feature music, food trucks, guest appearances, and a keynote media event at 10:30 a.m. with County and local city leaders encouraging residents to respond to the census en masse to ensure a complete count for Nevada. Residents can visit the Southern Nevada Counts website at www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com to learn about the local effort, and to RSVP for the March 12 event.
The kickoff event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but helps with planning purposes. During the kickoff event, the Census Bureau is scheduled to have staff available in a computer training room at the Government Center to answer questions and help people fill out their 2020 Census forms online. Clark County also will offer computer access at several Parks and Recreation community centers this spring for people wishing to respond to the census online. Locations and hours of operation will be listed on the Southern Nevada Counts website.
"Whether you and your family just moved here or you're a native like me, we need every household in our state and Clark County to participate in the census," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "It's important that our voices are heard in Washington, and that we receive our fair share of tax funding from the federal government to meet the needs of our growing population over the next decade."
The results of the census, taken every 10 years, help decide how $675 billion in federal tax funding is distributed to states and communities each year over the next decade. The federal government uses census data to calculate the distribution of funding for schools, highway and transportation projects, Medicare, Medicaid and health care funding, emergency services and other needs. Nevada stands to receive more than $6 billion each year over the next 10 years based on 2020 Census data. The population figures also determine how many of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives get allocated to each of the 50 states. After the 2010 Census, Nevada gained a seat in Congress because of Southern Nevada's population growth. Clark County continues to be one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation and is home to 2.3 million of Nevada's 3 million residents.
"It's important for every man, woman and child who lives in Southern Nevada to be counted in the census," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly. "The funding we receive based on census data has a direct impact on the quality of life of everyone who lives here. It's funding for our schools, roads, health care and other needs that could go to other states if we don't get a complete count."
Clark County Television produced a 30-second Public Service Announcement with Commissioners Kirkpatrick and Weekly urging Southern Nevadans to participate in the census. The PSA is posted on the County's website, www.ClarkCountyNV.gov., and YouTube page and will appear on other social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, NextDoor and others. It also will be shared with local news media.
Clark County and other member agencies of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition initiated the Southern Nevada Counts effort to encourage participation in the 2020 Census.
"We organized the Southern Nevada Counts initiative to get the word out to our residents about why participation in the 2020 Census is critical to our community's ability to get its fair share of funding from Congress and representation in Washington," said Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, chairman of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, which is comprised of elected officials from all area cities and the Clark County School District. "We encourage residents to visit the Southern Nevada Counts website to learn more about the census, and for updates on how and where people can participate starting March 12."
Since 1790 when George Washington was president, the United States has conducted a census every 10 years to count its population and collect demographic data about U.S. households. The 2020 Census survey has nine questions and will be available in multiple languages including the three most common spoken in Southern Nevada: English, Spanish and Tagalog. The online questionnaire also is available in braille and large print, and the Census Bureau is offering American Sign Language and Telephone Display Device (TDD) support. The questions ask for names, ages, birthdates and races of residents, and whether the home is owned or rented. By law, information provided for the census is confidential and not allowed to be shared with immigration or law enforcement agencies or the courts. The U.S. Census Bureau is required to use census responses for statistical purposes only. Federal law requires census information to be kept confidential for 72 years, after which the National Archives and Records Administration releases it to support historical research.
"We have a large and diverse immigrant population in Southern Nevada that needs to be counted in the census, so our community gets the representation and funding it deserves from Washington," said Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who also serves on the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition. "We want people to understand that the information they provide for the census is confidential by law and cannot be used against them in any way by any government agency or court. Census information is used for statistical purposes only, and a complete count is critical to Southern Nevada's health and well-being over the next 10 years."
Starting in mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. This is the first time the online option is available. Households may complete the Census 2020 online 24 hours a day through My2020Census.gov. A Census Bureau video explains the process for filling out the questionnaire online when it becomes available: https://www.2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html. Toll-free telephone assistance in several languages also will be available to help respondents. When people fill out the census survey, they will be asked to count everyone who lives in their homes as of Census Day on April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau will mail additional reminders to non-responding households this spring, followed by census taker in-person visits between May and July to help make sure everyone is counted.