SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains Township's elected officials, including Mayor Al Smith, Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo, and Councilman Roc White, devoted their time on Saturday to encourage residents to participate in the Census. Close to 85% of the township has filled out the Census form already, and local government officials are hoping for 100% compliance.

"It's important that everyone be counted, so that Scotch Plains," said Mayor Smith.

"We want everyone to be counted, we really are trying to get 100% participation," said downtown redevelopment coordinator Tom Strowe, who has helped spearhead the effort in Scotch Plains for the past year.

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The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade, according to 2020Census.gov. The results of the once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. Over the next ten years, lawmakers, business owners, and others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new roads, and services for families, older adults, and children.

Ultimately, the results will impact how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to states for various programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and grants for community mental health services.

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