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Dane County leaders push for 2020 Census participation

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The 2020 U.S. Census is around the corner.

Every 10 years, everyone living in the United States gets counted in the U.S. Census. Responding helps communities get the federal funding they need to support education, health care, affordable housing, transit, and roads, among other things.

A complete and accurate count is critical for determining where to send federal funding over the next decade. $675 billion in annual federal funding is tied to the census.

On Monday, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway joined Rep. Shelia Stubbs and County Executive Joe Parisi alongside community leaders from Centro Hispano, Madison College, and others to pledge support for and share resources to encourage participation in the 2020 Census.

"If Madison's population was undercounted by just 10% we could lose $500 million in much needed services over the next decade," said Mayor Rhodes-Conway.

Community leaders signed a pledge committing to stress the importance of the census, and asked for help spreading the word about U.S. Census job opportunities.

"We are determined to reach out to the Latinx community and we urge others to join us," said Centro Hispano Board member Mario Garcia Sierra. "Communities of color are growing in Dane County and everyone needs to be counted."

While other counties in Wisconsin are reporting 80-90% or more of the census workers they need, the Census Bureau has only about 40% of the workers they need in Dane County. These workers follow up with the people who will not respond in the mail or online. The Census Bureau estimates 4,000 applications are needed to fill all the scheduled slots.

Anyone interested in applying for a census worker job can visit this website. The online application process takes about 30 minutes. To be eligible, applicants must be at least 18-years-old, have a valid Social Security number, and pass a Census Bureau-performed background check and a review of criminal records.

"These are good paying, flexible jobs available from March through July that help our community and keep our democracy strong," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

You can respond to the census online, by mail or by phone. If you don't respond to those methods, a census worker will collect that information in person.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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