The 2020 Census might be the most important thing you do this year.
That’s a tall order with all that is going on, but hear us out. The census allocates $1.5 trillion in federal tax dollars for everything from schools and housing to health programs and roads. North Carolina receives $16 billion from federal funding every year, according to
. That funding is based on census data. So, if you do the math (and Cape Fear Counts did), every missed person costs the state about $16,000.
“Billions in federal dollars flow to state governments and to the local level,” Michael C. Cook Sr., a spokesperson for the US Census Bureau, told Vox
. “It’s about power and money. It shapes the future.”
It’s not just funding.
The census also shapes electoral maps, determines Electoral College votes, and establishes legislative district lines. Being counted by the census is on par with voting. It’s part of your voice as a citizen. But more than 4 million people could be undercounted in the 2020 census, according to The Urban Institute
“Data has shown that black communities are always undercounted, and we see this happening yet again,” Community Organizer Antionette Saddler, with the California Black Census & Redistricting Hub told Vox.
Not being counted or skipping the 2020 Census only continues the historic trend of power moving away from those with the most to lose. For the past week, citizens have been in the streets protesting the systemic racism and oppression that took George Floyd’s life. That trend will continue if every individual doesn’t stand up and be counted.
Take a minute and make sure you fill out the census.
Make sure your neighbor does too.
Let’s work together to make a better nation because now more than ever we need to make sure we count everyone part of this American experiment because everyone counts.