weather icon Clear

Every person counts

All it takes is five minutes — five short minutes that could significantly impact your city, state and nation.

That is the message the U.S. Census Bureau wants to get across to the nation’s residents.

Although the census is still months away, work is being done now behind the scenes to prepare for the count of the nation’s residents that is done once every 10 years.

Earlier this week, city leaders from within and outside the walls of City Hall gathered to establish the Boulder City Complete Count Committee. The group’s mission is to get the word out and encourage local residents to take the census next spring.

Taking the census is important. Not only is it mandated by the United States Constitution to get an accurate count to determine the number of seats each state will have in the House of Representatives, it is used to create congressional and state legislative districts.

In Nevada, where the major concentration of residents is in the southern portion of the state, this is extremely critical.

The data collected through the census also is valuable for lawmakers, business owners and others as they make decisions to provide services, products and support for their communities.

In 1990, Nevada came in 52nd place — out of 56 states and territories — for being the most undercounted and having the most incomplete responses. That cost the state $180 million. Those funds could have come in handy, especially as the state experienced explosive growth in the couple of decades that followed.

According to the Census Bureau, Nevada was the fastest-growing state between 2000 and 2010.

Those dollars in federal funds are used to support key services such as hospitals, police and fire departments, schools and roads.

Mayor Kiernan McManus told committee members that $20,000 in federal funds is allocated for each person counted.

Fortunately, the Census Bureau is making it easier than ever for folks to participate in the 2020 count. People can respond online, by telephone or by mail. They even are making accommodations for those not proficient in English.

The key to getting people to participate, according to Edgar Ramos, census partnership specialist for Clark County, is making them feel comfortable answering questions and assuring them that all answers will remain confidential.

As committee members work to find ways to encourage participation, the bureau is busy trying to recruit employees to help conduct the census. That’s where my role as a committee member begins. I get to help spread the word about things needed to get the count completed, starting with the hiring of census takers.

Two hiring events are being held at Boulder City Library later this month. The first is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, and the second is from 3-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.

Local representatives from the Census Bureau say there are part-time and full-time positions available, jobs that pay between $16.50 and $18 an hour, with flexible hours and paid training. Those interested in the positions, can apply at 2020census.gov/jobs.

With such critical decisions relying on getting an accurate picture of the nation’s residents, surely we can all plan to set aside five minutes to do our part and making sure that everybody counts.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
City’s past, future tied to lake

Lake Mead, the gem in Boulder City’s backyard, is losing its gleam.

Set goals for community, as a community

As a not so closeted optimist, I like to think about those things I’ve succeeded in and, because I hate the word “failed,” those things that I haven’t succeeded in during the new year. This year I worked my butt off, I read a ton of books, I wrote a lot of stories, I had one published and few opinions posted here. I went to some cool places and met some incredible people and taught a few classes of amazing people.

Shift to even-year elections produces some oddities

Our newest City Council members, Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox, took office only six months ago. So, it might seem much too early to start talking about city elections again. But this year marks a major change in Boulder City’s election cycle: a shift from odd-year elections to even-year elections. In other words, past city elections were held in odd-numbered years (for example, 2017, 2019 and 2021), but beginning this year they’ll take place in even years (2022, 2024 and so on).

Stick it to me

I’m in heaven today. That’s because it’s National Sticker Day. It’s a day that I can happily pay tribute to one of my favorite obsessions: stickers.

Reid was true friend to city

Few people know of the genius of Sen. Harry Reid. I was fortunate to get to know him from my position as mayor and council member of Boulder City. He was available to Boulder City residents and the citizens of Nevada regardless of which party they were affiliated with. I consider him to have been a friend.

Resolve to avoid resolutions

A new year. A new you. Making New Year’s resolutions to improve yourself or your life is a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Path to move forward clear

I want to wish all the residents of Boulder City a new year that brings better times and allows us to move beyond the challenges and struggles we have had in the past year and more. We are tired and frustrated from the pandemic that has caused hardship and, for many, personal loss.

Memories made as time flies by

There are only a few hours left in 2021 and I don’t know how the others passed so quickly. It seems the older I get, the faster days fly by.

‘Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. Though my holiday baking has since expanded into the entire month of December so that more family and friends can enjoy the fruits of my labor, the true spirit of the message remains. I promise to stay knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, and wish all a sweet holiday season and new year.

Diversity more systemic than racism

We live in the greatest country in the entire world. It has many inequalities and a number of negative attributes, but these are an exception, not the norm.