Column By Jon Johnson
Nothing that is so quick and easy to do can have such a dramatic effect on the next 10 years of the lives of your family and people who live near you than to simply fill out the 2020 Census.
Ok, ok, you do have to remember your children’s names (if you have any) and their birthdates, but beyond that, it is pretty easy. While they say it only takes about 5 minutes to complete, truth be told, it took me 11, but I have five children. So, your time to complete it will be dependent on the number of your brood and how fast you type in each one’s quick information.
That being said, it was the easiest thing I did that week.
Currently, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, census numbers are down. In-person workers have been halted for the past month, however, it is super easy to fill out the census online. If you are reading this article, you can fill out the census.
The national response is at about 50 percent, while Arizona is at 48.2 percent as of Sunday, April 19.
In Graham County, only 38.2 percent have responded to the census. Safford and Thatcher are nearly on par with the rest of the state at a 47.3 percent and 47.2 percent response rate, respectively. But Pima has only a 23.8 percent response rate. Come on Roughriders, your town needs you to step up to the plate and spend a few minutes filling out a form.
Greenlee County only has a 22.5 percent response rate, with Duncan at a 17.8 percent response rate and Clifton reporting a dismal 16.2 percent rate. Greenlee County is one of the least populous counties in the state, but maybe that’s because you aren’t filling out the census! Let’s go Wildcats or Wildkats – depending on which part of Greenlee County you are in – let’s show the rest of the state we can fill out a simple form.
Why is it so important?
While the 2020 Census determines congressional representation, it also will inform the government how to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding over the next decade. Does Pima need a new school? The census results would indicate yes or no. Are new roads necessary for a growing population? Fill out the census to make it happen.
In 2010, Pima was undercounted in the census, according to Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis, and the same will happen again if people don’t take the 5 to 10 minutes to simply fill out the form. If you are reading this, you can fill out the form by clicking here.
Want to get a new restaurant in Safford that isn’t fast food or a national chain retail business? Fill out the census. The data the census provides steers businesses’ decisions on where to expand, how many employees to hire, and more.
So, for equal representation in government, funding for your area to meet the needs of the people living there, and to encourage new business growth, take the few minutes of time while being home and fill out the census.