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Sat, Sept. 26

Editorial: What difference do I make to the 2020 census?

The 2020 Census can be completed by calling 1-844-330-2020 or online at azcensus2020.gov. (Photo/Adobe Stock)

The 2020 Census can be completed by calling 1-844-330-2020 or online at azcensus2020.gov. (Photo/Adobe Stock)

Only a little more than half of Arizonans have responded to the 2020 Census.

That’s half of the state, 60.8 percent to be exact.

One question some people may have is, ‘what’s the big deal?’ and ‘what difference can I make?’

The reality is, you make a big difference.

The census takes place once every 10 years and is the means used by the federal government to count the population. The count is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

The thing is, there is more significance to being counted than just providing a number Washington D.C.

The census touches everything from the access to health care, school lunch programs, our representation from the political aisle, and even the roads we drive on.

According to azcensus2020.gov, there are $675 billion in annual funds to be had, which are allocated to all states based on population. That’s an estimated $3,000 per person, per year in Arizona.

If we’re able to count every person living in the greater Williams, Tusayan and Grand Canyon area, we can in fact receive more funding from the federal government to help our schools, roads, health clinics, public works and other programs.

So if you want to make a difference, even in what might seem like a small way — but is in fact monumental — take the time to be counted.

And don’t forget, for the first time in history, the Census Bureau is allowing people to fill out their form online from their computers or smartphones. You can also respond by phone, by calling 1-844-330-2020.

Visit azcensus2020.gov for more information.

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