Colorado’s explosive growth makes the 2020 Census more important than ever. Because of our growth, Colorado has a good chance of picking up an additional Congressional district.

This means one more Coloradan in Congress to fight for the needs of our state. It also means billions of dollars in federal funding for Colorado, as grants and other funds are determined by the population of the state.

Starting March 12, homes across Colorado and the rest of the country will receive instructions on how to complete the 2020 Census. You may respond online, by phone or by traditional mail.

Provisions have also been made to count college students and to include people who may not have a permanent address. Coloradans who do not respond by mail will be given the opportunity to meet with a census taker and to complete their information in person. However you choose to respond, it is important that you complete the form. It is also required by the law.

Census results determine the distribution of funds for highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. The census also determines funding for schools, rural economic development and other services.

Altogether, the census determines how more than $675 Billion will be distributed across more 132 federal programs, many of them directly affecting rural Colorado. All of this is based on the population of our state as determined by the census.

The Census Bureau cannot release any information that might identify a specific individual or family. Unlike Google and other companies that make money by selling personal information, the U.S. Census is required to be private.

By law, all information collected by the census is confidential and cannot be shared with any other agency or organization, including political parties, marketing companies, and law enforcement.

This information cannot be used against you in court or by any government agency, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The only objective of the Census Bureau is to get an accurate count of the population of the United States. Privacy and confidentiality are crucial to ensuring an accurate count.

Why is it important to count everyone? Because people who are not counted still use resources. They drive on roads, send their children to school, and participate in all other aspects of life in America.

Federal, state and local agencies have no way to plan for the future unless they know how many people to plan for. Inaccurate counts that miss or intentionally leave out some people can reduce the amount of state or federal aid that might be sent to an area, decreasing or eliminating available services and placing a greater demand on churches and other non-profits that are often expected to fill in the gaps.

You count. So, make sure you are counted. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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