HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There have been “get counted” parades, the launch of a census website, the naming of a Complete Count Committee and now, a day of action.
On Wednesday, Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz announced the new 10-10-10″ campaign to encourage residents to respond to the 2020 Census.
On Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m., businesses will be asking employees to go online and take 10 minutes to respond to the census. The amount of people your state reports in the census count determines whether companies can decide to expand their business, which means jobs. It also determines the amount of federal money a state can receive.
Lamont reminded residents that Connecticut is a donor state, meaning we send more money to the federal government in taxes then we receive. If everyone is counted, it could change the distribution rate.
“A lot is based on per capita,” Lamont explained. “That’s why [the] census is so important so Connecticut takes it’s rightful place amongst the other 50 states to make sure we get our fair share.”
Bysiewicz pointed out that 55 federal programs are funded to our state on a per capita basis, including transportation dollars.
“The road you drive on costs money, and the federal dollars we receive are based on census figures,” she said.
Business leaders said census data helps them make decisions.Connecticut Business and Industry Association President, Joe Brennan, said the data is worth more than people know.
“The data can be mined from the census is invaluable,” he said. “Companies want to invest where they know there’s growth and where people are located.”
Jay Williams of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving said his nonprofit invested a quarter of a million dollars to help bring the census to the community.
“We only have one time in the next 10 years to get this right,” Williams said.
So far, around 65% of Connecticut has responded, which is higher than the national rate, which is at nearly 62%. However, big cities in the state, such as Hartford, are very behind, with around 40% of people responding. So, the push is on.
Beginning July 23, census workers will be knocking on doors in Hartford, East Hartford and West Hartford to try and reach those who have yet to fill out to the form. They will be wearing masks and trained in safety and health.
As you can imagine in a pandemic, being a census taker is complicated. Health officials said because Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers are low, they said it’s safe to have folks in the field.
Eva Bunnell from the Census Bureau said census workers will also be visiting food distribution sites to help people respond to the census.
People are able to answer questions online, over the phone or in writing.
To take the 2020 Census online, click here.