Clark County commissioners joined with state and local leaders today to encourage every household in Southern Nevada and throughout the Silver State to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census.
"It's important for everyone who lives in our community to be counted in this year's census," said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "This year's census is more accessible than ever. You can fill out the form online, over the phone or by mail. The information you provide is confidential, and your participation will help us get the federal tax funding and representation we deserve from Washington."
The results of the census, taken every 10 years, help decide how billions of dollars in funding is distributed to states and communities over the next decade, and are used to determine how many Congressional seats get allocated to each state. Nevada stands to receive more than $6 billion each year over the next 10 years based on 2020 Census data. The funding helps pay for roads and transportation projects, Medicare and Medicaid assistance, emergency services, job training, and a variety of programs for children including school lunches, health insurance, foster care and federal Pell Grants for college students. Clark County teamed up with multiple community partners to host a kickoff rally at the Clark County Government Center today to encourage residents to participate en masse in the census. Information about the Southern Nevada Counts "Win the Census" effort is available at www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com.
"A decade is a lifetime in the life of a child," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly. "We need every man, woman and child who lives in Southern Nevada to be counted in the census, so we get our fair share of funding for services and programs that our citizens need and depend on."
The 2020 Census has nine questions and can be taken online, by phone, or by mail, and is available in several languages, braille and in large print. For the first time, the census questionnaire can be filled out online, 24 hours a day, through the U.S. Census Bureau's website at www.My2020Census.gov. Clark County is offering free computer access at several Parks and Recreation Department community centers. Some additional sites will be added during Census Week, March 30-April 3. A complete list of locations and hours of operation is on the Southern Nevada Counts website. Permanent sites in the County are the Cora Coleman Senior Center, 2100 Bonnie Lane; Hollywood Recreation Center, 1650 S. Hollywood Blvd., Parkdale Recreation Center, 3200 Ferndale St.; Walnut Recreation Center, 3075 North Walnut Road; West Flamingo Senior Center, 6255 W. Flamingo Road; Whitney Recreation and Senior Center, 5712 E. Missouri Ave.; and the Pearson Community Center, 1625 W. Carey Ave.
The census also can be taken over the telephone. The Census Bureau is operating toll-free language assistance lines in many languages including the three most common languages spoken in Southern Nevada:
- English (844) 330-2020
- Spanish (844) 468-2020
- Tagalog (844) 478-2020
The Census Bureau also is offering American Sign Language support and has a toll-free Telephone Display Device (TDD) number of (844) 467-2020. Households that don't respond early this spring online or by phone will receive a paper questionnaire from the Census Bureau that they can return by mail, followed by census taker in-person visits between May and July.
"We encourage our residents to visit the Southern Nevada Counts website to learn about why it's so important for you and your family members to be counted in the census, and to find out how and where you can go to participate," said Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, chairman of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, which initiated the Southern Nevada Counts effort. "The site contains a direct link to the online 2020 Census questionnaire along with a list of the Census Bureau's toll-free language assistance lines."
One person per household fills out the questionnaire on behalf of everyone who lives at the address as of Census Day on April 1, 2020. 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. "The best way to avoid a visit from a census taker knocking on your door later this spring is to participate online or over the phone, or to return your form by mail soon as you receive it. The information you provide on the census form is confidential by law and cannot be used against you in any way by any government agency or court. Census information is used for statistical purposes only."
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 has been shared with local media and is posted on the County's website, www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. It also is posted on Clark County's YouTube page and is appearing on other social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, NextDoor and others. The Southern Nevada Counts website contains information in English and Spanish about the census as well as these handouts in English, Spanish and Tagalog.