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Tue, Nov. 12

County Corner | Be sure you are counted this census season, federal funding depends on it

Jeanne Kentch
Photo by Miner Staff.

Jeanne Kentch

Happy summer, Mohave County. We have been blessed this year with some cooler than normal temperatures, and I hope you all are enjoying the weather as I am.

It is now 2019! Can you believe it is almost 2020? So many things to look forward to in the year of the double 20s; presidential election year should make watching TV a bit nerve-wracking (don’t you love all those commercials?) Many state and county elected officials will be stumping again (including me), and yes, it is time again for the census.

It seems just yesterday that I was filling out my census card. I remember being concerned about all the questions they were asking. This year I have a different roll for the census, besides being a resident. I have been appointed by the Board of Supervisors to take charge of the Mohave County Complete Count Census Committee. District appointments besides me include: Nicole Bratley, representing District 1; Karen Flenniken, representing District 2; Gaynell Crews, representing District 3; Becky Fawson, representing District 4; and Debra DeGrant, representing District 5. I want to take this time to thank those appointed for volunteering their time for our county census endeavors.

Complete Count Committees (CCC) are volunteer committees established by tribal, state, local governments, and community leaders or organizations to increase awareness and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census. CCCs serve as state and local “census ambassador” groups that play an integral part in ensuring a complete and accurate count of the community in the 2020 Census. Success of the census depends on community involvement at every level. The U.S. Census Bureau simply cannot conduct the 2020 Census alone, it needs local support, and the CCCs within our county will ensure this support. CCCs help maximize participation and response rates by increasing awareness throughout the 2020 Census.

The Mohave County Complete Count Committee will have its first meeting in July. I anticipate the training to include the steps involved in helping obtain a very successful census. We are told that 95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail. They anticipate 5% of the households will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off at their home. The U.S. Census anticipates that less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a census taker, which is a huge decrease from 10 years ago. The invitation you receive will give you the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Expect to see an invitation for response sometime in March 2020.

Census data is used to determine which areas are considered rural (like ours) for the purposes of federal spending. Policymakers also use census data to make decisions about how to allocate federal funding for programs that serve rural America.

The census helps researchers understand the characteristics and needs of rural America’s population. Due to our “rural” environment in Mohave County, our CCC has many concerns in order to achieve an accurate count. The digital divide and hard-to-count areas and populations make a fair and accurate count of rural America more difficult. Limited access to the internet, remote geographies and significant hard-to-count populations in our county make the count challenging.

Despite these challenges, the Mohave County Complete Count Census Committee looks forward to keeping you posted with any and all developments in regards to a successful 2020 Census. Expect to hear from us this spring.

Have a fantastic summer and STAY COOL.

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