Participating in the census every 10 years is important for communities, government and businesses.

As we face the COVID-19 challenges for the foreseeable future, we cannot overlook the benefits we will receive when everyone participates in the 2020 Census. Fresh census information will determine fair government representation and equitable distribution of public funding for state and local programs and services, and it will update the statistics that many of us rely on to make important decisions in government, business and education sectors.

Our participation, or lack thereof, will affect us for the next decade. Billions of dollars in public funding for our state and region are at stake. If 100 people are not counted, we stand to lose $3 million over the next decade, or $3,000 per person each year. The impact of not participating adds up fast.

The 2020 Census results are so important for the future success of our region and state. Let’s join together and continue to support the U.S. Census Bureau’s efforts and the efforts at the state, regional and local levels to ensure that everyone is counted.

Let’s also take the time to recognize and give a special thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau workers, the Governor’s Complete Count Committee and our jurisdictional partners for the work they are all doing locally to promote census participation and conduct their business in a safe manner.

I encourage you to respond soon to the census. Please take five minutes to fill out your census form online to save a census taker from visiting your home. Maintaining the health and safety of census takers during the coronavirus pandemic is important, too.

Although our response rate is tracking ahead of the state and national response rate, we need to continue to encourage everyone to complete the census form, especially during this period of unprecedented times.

Help us reach the best census response ever for our region and let’s aim for big results by the end of the census count.

Together we can shape the future as we get through tough times. Wishing you and your families health and safety. 

Marana Mayor Ed Honea chairs the Regional Council of Pima Association of Governments, the region’s metropolitan planning organization and council of governments.