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Let the count begin; census underway

The 2020 census has started in Boulder City, and residents can now be counted to help determine how they will be represented and where federal funds will be distributed for the next 10 years.

On March 12, the U.S. Census Bureau held an event at the Boulder City Library to give people an opportunity to participate before count day April 1. Those who wanted to could fill out the census questionnaire and submit it online.

Sherry Hoffeld, marketing and sales director at Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City, was the first person to complete the census at the kickoff event. She came with her co-worker Mary Rush.

“We came to learn how to do it to show our residents. … It was easy and great,” said Rush, who works in administration.

“And then we got to do it,” added Hoffeld. “It was kind of awesome.”

Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a population and housing count of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the island areas. Its results help determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and how the congressional and state legislative districts are drawn.

Federal agencies also use the results to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be distributed annually to communities, including money for public schools.

“We are sending a message to the state and community that we are supporting the 2020 census because it’s so important,” said Brian Lee Berman, senior partner specialist for the Los Angeles Regional Census Center.

City officials were at the library to participate in the census.

Councilwoman Claudia Bridges said she came “to set a good example,” see how the process worked and encourage others to do it.

“It was easy-peazy,” she said.

Councilwoman Judy Hoskins also said the process was easy.

“I came to be able to help those who may need help filling out the census,” she said.

Census day is observed throughout the country April 1, and by then every home should have received an invitation to participate and tell the Census Bureau where they will live that day.

“We have three options for responding,” said U.S. Census Bureau media specialist Misty D. Slater. “For the first time, you can respond online and it is mobile-friendly. You can also respond by phone and by mail.”

To participate online, go to www.census.gov. To do it over the phone, call 844-330-2020 for English or 844-468-2020 for Spanish. Residents can also mail in the hard copy questionnaire.

Slater said that if people do not participate, they will receive several reminders in the mail through the end of April. At that time, someone from the bureau will contact them in person to get their response.

For more information about the census, go to www.census.gov.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com.

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