South Florida gears up for 2020 census

MIAMI (WSVN) - The 2020 census is coming up, and South Florida residents are being reminded of its significance.

The government uses the census to know how to distribute $800 billion in funds and assistance.

Every 10 years the government makes a count of all its resources.

The process helps the government issue funding for everything from schools and supermarkets to homes and hospitals.

However, many choose not to be counted.

Government officials are working to encourage people to participate.

On Monday, Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Miami-Dade Public Library System Director Ray Baker and Chairwoman Audry Edmonson joined together to inform residents about the importance of the 2020 Census.

Edmonson said, “Being counted also determines dollars for schools and public safety, dollars for our public hospitals and healthcare overall.”

The census can be the best way to make your presence known and get your needs met.

Edmonson continued, “Your information is confidential. Don’t allow rumors to impede funding by scaring you away from registering.”

Those most afraid may be from the immigrant community.

Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition said, “Immigrant families have all kinds of status within a family. They may have an undocumented person, a TPS, or DACA, and given the collaboration between this county and ICE it’s very scary for families, and they’ve retreated in the shadows.”

Those who do not participate in the census are often in need of its services the most.

Rodriguez insisted that information gathered by census workers will not be given to immigration officers, saying, “This information will not be shared with immigration enforcement.”

It takes minutes to fill out the survey.

You can also register by mail, by phone or on-line.

Miami-Dade County’s library system is giving everyone access to take part with technology.

Baker said, “We are here to make sure that residents are aware that all of our libraries are committed to making our public technology resources, whether it be desktops, laptops, tablets or the Wi-Fi that we have available to the public at our library locations.”

The government has also worked to make the library available to those who need to stay home. Baker continued, “The Miami-Dade Public Libary has several book mobiles and a techno bus, and they are going to be rolling, literally rolling around the county throughout the census response period.”

Invitations to participate will go out beginning on March 12.

The official start to the census will be April 1.

Those who don’t fill out the survey can expect a visit from a census taker.

Before you let them into your home, they should show you an ID badge that has their name, their picture and a department of commerce watermark.

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