10 Minutes Will Impact 10 Years of Your Life


“Your ten minutes of participation will impact ten years of your life,” said Nick Kuwada, the Office of the Census, Santa Clara County in his keynote address.

At a Civic Forum organized on Jan 23, 2020 co-sponsored by India Currents and Ding Ding TV in Santa Clara, officers from the Office of the Census impressed upon the audience the importance of participation. The event was supported by Ethnic Media Services, VietPress USA, Mail Business Newspaper (the Wall Street Journal of South Korea), Lion Television Channel 16.10, North California, GlinkNews, Tan Phuong Media, Voice of Chinese America, and design2market.

The Keynote address was followed by a panel discussion on the importance of counting children in Census 2020. Historically children are undercounted, specially children under 5. The discussion was lead by Vandana Kumar, Publisher, India Currents magazine with a panel that included Monica Tong, Office of the Census and Andrew Ratermann, School board trustee for the Santa Clara Unified School District.

Important takeaways:

*The Census every 10 years takes a headcount of all people in the United States. ALL people have to be counted, not just old or young, rich or poor, English speakers or non-English speakers. Ten minutes of your time will impact ten years of your life.

*The Census has a record of getting 76% of the people to respond. If, in Census 2020, we record below this number then we will lose billions of dollars of funding. Additionally we are in danger of losing a Congressional seat. The US Census finds some counties, like Santa Clara County, hard to count.

*You need to take the Census because it is the law.

*You need to take the Census to get your fair share of funds. You pay taxes and you should get federal funding. Take your tax money back to make your schools and other institutions better.

*You need to take the Census because there are voices in Washington that are vested in not counting you and taking your money. They want you to be invisible.

*Where you are on April 1, 2020 is where funds earmarked for you will go. If you are from Cupertino but are a student at and live in Davis then you will count as part of Davis and funds for you will go there. Because people move around the census takes a snapshot count.

*Birth records and immigration records do not answer where the people are located.

Logistics to keep in mind:

The mailers for Census 2020 will be mailed out on March 1. Look out for the forms and when people knock on your door as census workers make sure you are talking to census workers and not fraudsters. If they ask for your Social Security Number don’t give them this information. Real census workers will not ask for such information.

It is the first digital census and can be taken online. Pincodes will be sent to by mail that identify your address. You can write the pincode instead of the address.

If you don’t have laptops or phones to fill the census form digitally you can fill it at any of the 120 earmarked locations like community house, library, school etc.

Ritu Marwah is an a senior writer with India Currents and an avid student of all things political.

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