Opinion

The census impacts our community

Were you aware that the U.S. census impacts your life on a daily basis?  The results of the census determine many factors that directly affect each of us and our community for a decade.  

 

The data compiled from the census determines how much federal funding Presque Isle receives for:

– Road construction and planning

– Buses and transit systems such as Aroostook Regional Transportation System and the new Presque Isle Loop

– Section 8 housing

– The school lunch program, Head Start Program, teachers, special education and adult education

– Employment and training, health care, Medicaid and Medicare Part B and substance abuse treatment

– Rural water and waste disposal systems

– Community development

The information also helps the U.S. government determine where services for families, children and older adults are needed, including new schools and clinics.  In addition, the statistics dictate the number of seats Maine gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and how the legislative districts are drawn.

Many households received an invitation to respond in the mail in March with a special ID to use to reply online.  Once they receive their invitation, the household may respond online, by mail or by phone.  

To respond, visit my2020census.gov 

One person from each household should respond.  Questions on the census are easy and completion takes only minutes.  Questions include whether you live in a house, apartment or mobile home; how many live with you; your telephone number; the name of the person who owns or pays the rent on the residence; your race; who else lives there and their relationship with you. These questions are not asked without reason.  For instance, the race question helps determine compliance with anti-discrimination provisions.

Although simple and easy, Maine has one of the lowest response rates (it is 47th or 48th out of 50 states) despite the fact that the need here is great.  Please take just a few minutes to complete your U.S. census today.

Kimberly Smith is the resource development and public information officer for the city of Presque Isle. She can be reached at 207-760-2722 or via email at ksmith@presqueisleme.us.

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