Santa Fe, N.M. – On Friday, Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, kicked off Census outreach efforts in Santa Fe County with Chair of the Santa Fe County Complete Count Committee, Commissioner Henry P. Roybal, leaders from our public school systems, Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber, the U.S. Census Bureau, the activist community, and Governors of the Pueblo Nations.
“The U.S. Census determines how the government allocates funding for critical resources like housing, health care, infrastructure, transportation, and education – and even a 1 percent undercount could mean a loss of $780 million for our state. New Mexicans deserve a fair and accurate count to ensure they are represented,” said Luján. “I am proud of the ongoing efforts by Census takers, local leaders, and activists who are helping to create equitable communities in New Mexico and across the country.”
As you’re planning your coverage of the Census, Congressman Luján filmed a PSA that is available for use to raise awareness of the upcoming Census deadline. The PSA is available for use here. If you’d like to schedule an interview with Congressman Luján on the Census, please email Adan Serna at Adan.Serna@mail.house.gov.
The United States Census is a constitutionally required process that has been taken every 10 years since 1790. Serving a wide range of purposes, most notably the Census is important in determining the allocation of federal funds to states and reapportioning the number of seats in state legislatures and Congress. Examples of resources impacted by the Census count are:
- New fire departments
- New health clinics and hospitals
- New schools
- New roads
- Social services for families, elderly, and children
- More than 100 programs including Medicaid, Head Start, mental health services, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The questions on the Census ask basic information such as how many people live in your household, your birth date, gender, and ethnicity, and your answers are always confidential. You will never be asked for your citizenship status, social security number, or for credit card or bank numbers. Information will never be used against you or reported to law enforcement. Census takers are trained, reliable individuals collecting vital data, and you can trust them to protect your information.
Everyone is required by law to participate in the Census. In mid-March, households will start receiving information on how to respond. There are three ways of responding: online, by phone, or by mail. By April 1, every household will have received notification.
More detailed information can be found on the official U.S. Census 2020 website.