Your actions and the actions of your neighbors have the potential to bring tens of millions of dollars back to Kansas. You can do this by completing the 2020 Census. Yet, you need to act fast.
The deadline to be counted could be as early as September 30th. If a federal court has its way, you’ll have until the end of October to complete the 2020 Census.
However, there is no excuse not to act fast. Over the next few days, please complete the Census and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.
The Census is a once-every-ten-years process required by the Constitution. The results of the Census shape how hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds are distributed and guide how our political representation is determined, which is why it’s crucial to get the count right.
If Kansans are not counted, the state and your community will be shortchanged for a decade, which is why it is important to the future of our communities and state that everyone is counted as part of the 2020 Census.
For Kansas the stakes are high, the Census count determines how over $6 billion in federal funds are distributed to Kansas every year. Every uncounted person costs the state of Kansas approximately $2,082 in federal funding.
With less than ten days to complete the Census, the encouraging news is that many Kansans have responded to the Census and participated online or by phone.
However, approximately one in three Kansans have not self-responded to the Census. Not only are we not responding at the same rate as 2010, but it’s putting our communities at risk of losing important funding and representation in the political process.
As the state economy and state budget struggle because of the economic fallout resulting from COVID-19, Kansas cannot afford to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars.People living in our rural communities, children and seniors are at the greatest risk of losing resources due to an undercount.
Newborn babies and children under five are often missed in the census, yet they’re among the most important in determining how funds are distributed. The 2020 Census helps determine which areas qualify for the critical resources that children and families depend on for the next 10 years — basically, an entire childhood. This includes food assistance, Head Start, childcare, housing support, public schools, early intervention services for children with special needs, children’s health insurance and more. Knowing how many children there are and where they live is essential to getting those services and programs to them. That’s why it’s so important that every child be counted, even newborn babies.
Beyond supporting children, the Census determines funding for programs that play a vital role in maintaining strong rural communities. Because rural communities are aging, programs and infrastructure to support older Kansans are particularly critical like Medicare Part B, housing, libraries and community centers, senior community employment programs and first responder services.
Our hard-to-count populations are not limited to rural communities, young children and older Kansas. All Kansans have a lot to lose if residents go uncounted. The bottom line: it is critical every Kansan is counted. We can’t afford for them not to be.
Time is running out to complete their Census.Don't shortchange your community — complete your Census today or call 844-330-2020.
David Jordan is the president of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund in Hutchinson.