The 2020 Census: Count me in!

HENDRY COUNTY — What do Hendry County, fair representation, redistricting and $675 million have in common? The 2020 Census. It’s coming, and taking part is your civic duty. The census is conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the results determine congressional representation and federal funding for states and communities like ours. Every year, more than $675 billion is allocated for hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, housing programs, emergencies and natural disasters according to information collected by the census.

“Hendry County Counts! Everyone counts! The 2020 Census will count every person living in Hendry County, and it’s important for everyone to participate,” said Patricia Ayala, who works in the Hendry County administration.

The census will not only provide data that will impact our community for the next decade as lawmakers, business owners and many others use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions that directly affect us, it will also show where our community needs new schools, clinics, roads and services for our families and friends. Informing how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding will be used, participation in the 2020 Census is extremely important to our small, rural community.

How do you participate? In mid-March, households will begin receiving mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. By April 1, every home will receive an invitation to participate, and you will have three options for responding. You can respond online, by phone or by mail. To help you answer the census, the U.S. Census Bureau provides translated web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.

“You do not have to be a legal citizen to be included in the count. Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can be used only to produce statistics. This means that your answers cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential,” said Tammar O’Hammar, one of Ms. Ayala’s coworkers.

The Hendry County government is dedicated to joining forces with other organizations to ensure that everyone in Hendry County is counted. Residents, groups, associations, churches and organizations who would like to be involved should contact Patricia Ayala at Patricia.ayala@hendryfla.net to be added to future mailings and meeting notifications.

For more information regarding participating in the 2020 Census, you can visit the Hendry County website at hendryfla.net/census/index.php.

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