Census resumes in Southwest Florida with new ways to respond

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
United States Census illustration. (Credit: MGN)
Credit: MGN

One of the most critical pieces delivered to your mailbox in the last decade is the 2020 U.S. Census survey. For the first time, you can respond to the survey online or on your mobile phone. And of course, you can mail your responses. But if you do not, you could face charges for a crime.

“It’s very important, just as important as it is to vote,” said Isamel Ibarra, who lives in Port Charlotte. “You just fill out the form, bubble in. It’s actually a simple form, a few pages.”

Remind an important date: April 1. Every home will receive a copy of the survey in the mail by then. The survey will not ask for your social security number, your bank account or credit card numbers, or money or donations.

You will want to base your answers on who is living in your home on that day. The results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flows into your community. The capital goes towards roads, schools and disaster relief.

“These are all necessary things,” said Tonya Miller-Turczyn, who lives in North Port. “But it also takes a village and without the funds, how can you help the village?”

Michelle Malsbury, with the U.S. Census Bureau, spoke with a group in Charlotte County on Tuesday. In the discussion, she explained its hiring 13,000 temporary workers in Southwest Florida starting around $15.50 per hour in Charlotte County; $12.50-$15.50 an hour in Lee County; and $17 an hour in Collier County.

The U.S. Constitution mandates the census. In Article 1, Section 2, it said the U.S. has counted its population each decade since 1790. Now, it is a few questions and a few minutes of your time to make a big difference in your neighborhood while continuing to help America move forward.

“You are doing a civic thing for your community,” Miller-Turczyn said.

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