(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser officially kicked off the District’s 2020 Census efforts by presenting a proclamation to honor the selection of her Complete Count Committee.
“Getting an accurate count is critical for DC to get the resources it needs to give everyone living in our city a fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser. “Despite efforts by the federal government seeking to intimidate our most vulnerable communities, the District is committed to counting all of our residents in an easy and secure process. We assure all residents that there is no risk to responding to the questionnaire, and that it is illegal for information to be shared with federal law enforcement.”
Mayor Bowser included $2.5 million in her Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal to support the District’s Census efforts. The engagement process starts almost one year in advance of Census Day (April 1, 2020) and will continue through early 2020.
For the first time, Census questionnaires can be completed online. Residents will also have the option to provide their information by phone or request a paper questionnaire. A postcard will be sent to each District household in March 2020, with instructions to go online and fill out the questionnaire.
The federal government uses Census data to distribute over $3 billion annually to the District for vital programs, such as:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Section Eight Housing Choice Vouchers
- Children’s Health Insurance
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Census data is also used to update Ward and ANC boundaries, and DC Government agencies rely on the data for budgeting, planning and decision making.
Complete Count Committee – comprised of a cross section of DC Agency leadership, community and non-profit organizations, as well as representatives from higher education organizations and the private sector – will help DC Government spread awareness about the importance of the Census and overcome any barriers to counting residents in all eight wards. The Committee will also educate residents about what the government is legally allowed and not allowed to do with the information collected through the Census, especially in regard to the fact that it is illegal for any of the information to be shared with law enforcement agencies.
For more information on how to get involved, please visit dccensus2020.dc.gov.