Census awareness begins with rollout

Both the City of Fallon and Nevada Census 2020 have kicked off the census beginning with a proclamation issued Thursday by Mayor Ken Tedford.

A state rollout occurred Monday afternoon at the William N. Pennington Life Center, which was attended by the state director of Nevada Census 2020 and local officials.

Reading from the city’s proclamation, Tedford said a complete and accurate count of Nevada and the city of Fallon is vital to both the state and local communities and also determines federal funding and political representation. Furthermore, the city’s proclamation stated data from the census report will be used for economic development, public health, education and housing decisions. Over a 10-year period, federal funding allocates $20,000 to local and state governments for each person who is counted.

In the city’s proclamation, Tedford cited a report from a Counting for Dollars study conducted by George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The report stated Nevada received more than $6.2 billion through 55 federal spending programs during fiscal year 2016. The data derived from the 2010 census determined the amount of dollars going to the Silver State.

Garrett Kalt, a regional director who met with Tedford for the issuance of the procalmation, is responsible for the census in a five-county area including Churchill, Humboldt, Lyon, Pershing and Mineral.

Kerry Durmick, Nevada Census 2020 director, said residents will be receiving on March 12 a census questionnaire to complete, and during the months of May, June and July, field workers will reach out to households that did not respond to the questionnaire. Federal law stipulates people living in the United States and its territories are legally required to respond to the census.

The final count is delivered to the office of the President on Dec. 31.

Durmick revealed the Nevada Census 2020 logo for the first time and referenced the tagline of “Nevada Matters. Be Counted.” She assured attendees information on the census form is confidential.

Churchill County Commission Chairman Pete Olsen said the census is important to the community. He said $60 billion in funding based on the final census count will be determined for the next 10 years for schools, hospitals, public safety and workforce development. He said it doesn’t matter if people live in the cities or the county because they need to fill out the census questionnaire.

Olsen said Churchill Area Regional Transportation is indirectly affected by the census but will receive federal money through the Nevada Department of Transportation.

“That’s a direct impact to us,” he added.

Olsen said information provide on the census questionnaire is confidential, and residents can easily submit their information via electronically, regular mail or over the phone.

“It’s easy, and it takes about 10 minutes,” Olsen said.

Olsen said Churchill County is a great community, and people should take the time to fill out the questionnaire.

Dr. Summer Stephens, superintendent of Churchill County School District, said she wants to ensure the community is proud of the schools.

“It’s important we get everybody counted,” she said, adding the data will affect the level of federal funding the school district receives. “I have this ridiculous goal, but I am going to say it. I want 100% of the people who live in Churchill County to complete the census.”

Stephens illustrated the importance of federal funding. She said the district educates more than 100 children under 5 in its preschool programs, but during the last census in 2010, she said many youngsters in all the states left out of the final numbers

“Ten years ago, nearly 1 million children under 5 weren’t counted,” she said.

Stephens said Churchill County must have accurate information.

Frost then read the proclamation Tedford had delivered last week.

Nevada Lt.Gov. Kate Marshall serves as chairwoman of the state’s 2020 census and first spoke about the census last year before the Churchill Economic Development Authority. She stressed the local importance, saying Churchill County is one of the top five counties for agriculture, and each migrant worker brings in $20,000.

Marshall said this will be the first year residents will fill out the census form online. She said the U.S. Census Bureau will mail postcards to the households, and each postcard includes a code number for online submissions. She reiterated field workers will visit homes if the online census is not filed.


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