Officials say there’s still time for Marylanders to respond to the Census.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Marylanders are standing up and being counted. The State Department of Planning says Maryland’s response rate to the 2020 Census is higher than the national average. “We are sitting at number 13 in the nation with a response rate of 66.7%,” says Planning Secretary Rob McCord. “We had been sitting at close to 11 and 12 for a little while, and we are hoping we will be in the top ten before it’s all over with.”
McCord says a lot of this was due to complete count committees around the state coming up with innovative ways to make sure every citizen takes part in the Census. That included working with faith-based leaders to get the word out to their congregations, and getting the business community to get the message out. “The local complete count committees are using some of the food distribution points throughout this process to get census messaging in there, and some local c.c.c.’s have been working with people just waiting in line to remind them about the importance of the Census and actually getting them go on the phone and fill it out right then and there,”: he says.
It’s crucial for all citizens to participate in the Census. “The estimate is $16-billion worth of funding per year that comes to Maryland that’s Census-derived funding,” he said. “So when people do not respond, we estimated last time in 2010 there was about $1-billion that was lost, left on the table.”
Some of the funding goes to programs like Medicare and Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), school Construction, emergency preparedness and transportation projects.
McCord says it’s more than just the money. “This is about our community, each and every community,”: he says. “No matter what else is going on, COVID and everything else, we are committed to getting the best count possible for Maryland. We want an accurate count for Maryland because we want, not just the resources, but we want to know what each community looks like.”
The 2020 Census results will determine how seat are apportioned in the US House of Representatives.
For those who have not responded to the Census, they can fill out the form which came in the mail and send it back. They can also go online to census.maryland.gov And citizens can phone in their responses at these following numbers:
844-330-2020 in English
844-468-2020 in Spanish
844-820-2020 for Spanish speakers in Pueto Rico
844-467-2020 to TDD.
The deadline is October 31st, 2020.
By Kevin McMfanus