GRAND RAPIDS — With just about 5 weeks left to complete the 2020 Census, you may have noticed Census workers have been going door-to-door in West Michigan.
Some of those workers may be asking questions, even if you’ve already sent in your survey. It’s all part of a big push to get those surveys complete before the end of September.
Raul Alvarez, Communications Specialist for the City of Grand Rapids said, “We in Grand Rapids are just under 70% of self-report. Our goal is 85%, so we have some work to do in the next five weeks. “
Alvarez notes that it’s not something to brush off, because the city stands to miss out on a lot of Federal funding.
“One billion over 10 years, that’s $100 million a year that we potentially stand to lose for healthcare, education, roads, public transportation, fire safety, if we don’t get counted.”
If you’ve already filled out your survey and you still get a Census worker paying you a visit, Sam Fettig, a Partnership Coordinator with the Census Bureau said, it’s nothing to worry about.
He said, “They could be checking the quality of the response that someone has given, if for whatever reason something seems a little bit off. Maybe they entered a large number of people that live in a certain house or they just don’t seem to match up. If for whatever reason the response seems like it needs to be double-checked, that might be one reason. So then, they were just re-ask the same basic questions that are on the census form itself.”
If you’re concerned someone at your door isn’t an official Census worker, Fettig said that you can look for a few things.
“The best thing to look for is a photo ID badge that every Census taker should be wearing, visibly on a lanyard around their neck. It’ll have their photo and name, Census Bureau logo, and the Department of Commerce watermark, “ he said.
He went on to say, “Additionally most census workers will have a Census Bureau branded bag, laptop bag, as well as a smart device with the same identifying features on it.”
Alvarez said that people should also pay attention to the types of questions they’re asking.
He said, “They are not going to ask for your Social Security number, they are not going to ask for any kind of bank account number, they are not going to ask for party affiliation, they are not going to ask if you are a U.S. Citizen or not, and they are certainly not going to ask you for donations.”
You can also call the Census Bureau while that person is there, to verify that they’re an official worker.
Alvarez said that it’s worth double-checking to make sure your information is safe, while being counted.
“Be counted, it is so critical. It only comes every 10 years,” he said.