Thursday, March 5, 2020

Did you know you will be receiving a letter from 2020 Federal Census next week?

Next week, most Americans should receive a letter from the Census Bureau - don't throw it away! For the first ever, you can answer that letter online. Here's what the Census' website  - www.census.govsays about this letter:

How to verify a mailing is from the Census Bureau:

If you receive a survey or a letter in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains information that will help you verify its legitimacy. For example:
  • “U.S. Census Bureau” in the return address or “U.S. Department of Commerce” which is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
  • Jeffersonville, IN in the return address. The Census Bureau has a mail processing center located there.
Households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.  The enclosed envelope to mail back a completed paper questionnaire would be addressed to Jeffersonville, IN, or Phoenix, AZ.

If you're wondering why we do the census every ten years, here's some background from the Census website:

  • As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population.
  • The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. 
  • It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. 
  • The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

The Census was debated by our founding fathers! Here's more historical background from Census website:

The U.S. Constitution empowers the Congress to carry out the census in "such manner as they shall by Law direct" (Article I, Section 2). The Founders of our fledgling nation had a bold and ambitious plan to empower the people over their new government. The plan was to count every person living in the newly created United States of America, and to use that count to determine representation in the Congress.
Enshrining this invention in our Constitution marked a turning point in world history. Previously censuses had been used mainly to tax or confiscate property or to conscript youth into military service. The genius of the Founders was taking a tool of government and making it a tool of political empowerment for the governed over their government.
They accomplished that goal in 1790 and our country has every 10 years since then. In 1954, Congress codified earlier census acts and all other statutes authorizing the decennial census as Title 13, U.S. Code. Title 13, U.S. Code, does not specify which subjects or questions are to be included in the decennial census. However, it does require the Census Bureau to notify Congress of general census subjects to be addressed 3 years before the decennial census and the actual questions to be asked 2 years before the decennial census.

Jim Maisano, Esq.

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