By now, Berkeley Heights residents should have received in the mail invitations to participate in the 2020 Census through the Internet, phone, or mail.
We know everyone is concerned about COVID-19, but this should be a good – and rewarding – break from the news headlines!
So why is the Census so important?
The Census collects data on important questions such as home ownership and the number of people present in a household. Using this data, the federal government will determine congressional districts and seats available for the House of Representatives. These redrawn districts seek to ensure equal voting power by establishing evenly-populated districts. Additionally, New Jersey is poised to maintain its congressional seats given that everyone participates. By not participating, the government will estimate less people are present, which could harm the state’s representation in the government. This happened in 2010, when New Jersey lost its 13th district.
The data determines funding for communities like Berkeley Heights, which will finance hospitals, public school spending, local transportation improvements, and more. Local road construction and infrastructure projects heavily depend on this funding, so the greater Census participation, the greater Berkeley Heights benefits. The Township will also have access to the Census data, which can be used to tailor specific legislation to the new resident demographics.
For individuals who rely on government programs like Medicare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), their funding also depends on the Census data. In addition, businesses will also immensely benefit from the data. Since the data indicate population trends, these businesses can predict sales projections and decide when to expand. Most importantly, it can attract new businesses to open up in small towns like Berkeley Heights. This will stimulate the local economy and provide wonderful consumer services and more tax revenue – which is sure to be needed once we recover from this public health crisis!
The official Census day is April 1st. The questionnaire only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and completing it will greatly aid the community. And what better time to complete the Census than when we are all living under a “stay-at-home” policy!
It’s super easy – just click here to get started! https://my2020census.gov/