PARKLAND, FL- With the Coronavirus outbreak, our situation has changed significantly. There is no need to panic, but we do need everyone to strictly follow the CDC guidelines and State of Florida, Broward County, and City of Parkland emergency orders. The more we all follow these guidelines, the safer it will be for everyone and the quicker we will get through this. Please do your part, be a hero, stay at home, stay away from people not in your household, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet when you are participating in essential business, wash your hands, and take precautions. Thank you for doing all you can to keep everyone safe and to get through this together. The actions you take now can save lives and will make a difference in the long run. 

In the month of April all of our residents should have received an invitation to participate in Census 2020.  The Census is a Constitutionally-mandated population count for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the five U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

The invitation is to respond to a short, easy questionnaire.  I strongly urge every resident to participate in the Census and make sure Parkland counts by filling out the form. The 2020 Census, for the first time, allows residents to participate online, by phone, or by mail.  It couldn’t be easier and it couldn’t be more important.  Visit www.census.gov for more information and to fill out the Census.

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Census results help determine how hundreds of billions of federal funding dollars flow into communities like Parkland every year for the next 10 years.  An accurate count influences highway planning and construction, helps determine how money is spent for education, to prevent child abuse, to provide housing assistance for older adults, and even to restore wildlife.  The brief time it takes you to complete the questionnaire will play an important role in preparing Parkland to respond to a natural disaster and secure funding for fire prevention.  

This once-per-decade population count determines the number of seats Florida has in the House of Representatives and will be used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.  Even corporations and private businesses will use this data to make critical decisions.  

For those who might be concerned about the security of their data, the U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and ensure their confidentiality.  Every Census employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.  This obligation prevents the release of any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business—even to law enforcement agencies.  The law protects your answers from being used against you by any government agency or court.  Your answers are used only to produce statistics.  

Please participate in the 2020 Census and make sure that we have access to all resources available to our community.

In the meantime, follow all city updates at www.cityofparkland.org/coronavirus. Also you can sign up for our city email blast at www.cityofparkland.org/notifyme. Please always feel free to reach out to me at chunschofsky@cityofparkland.org. I look forward to hearing from you.