Fig Tree will help the census reach people
To learn about the census, why it matters, how to respond and ways to be involved, there will be a Census 2020 Public Forum 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, at Shadle Park High School, 4327 N. Ash St., with a presentation and panel discussion, and a live stream video on KSPS,
Among the nonprofits and others assisting with the census is The Fig Tree, which has received a $10,000 grant from Innovia to do a project called, Faith Community Leaders’ Outreach to Hard-to-Count Communities in Eastern Washington.
Every 10 years, every household in America is surveyed on demographics such as race and age, giving a portrait of America.
This year, people will be asked to respond online. In mid-March, households will be mailed an invitation with a unique code. Although invitations come by mail, people are asked to access and complete the questionnaire online using the code.
Paper copies can be requested or the questionnaire can be completed over the phone.
April 1, 2020, is the official Census Day.
Census data determines where federal dollars are spent for services and the number of seats a state has in Congress.
The 2020 Census is a short survey that takes only about 10 minutes, but has impact for the next 10 years. A state may lose more than $30,000 per person missed.
Everyone living in the United States as of April 1, 2020 counts—a baby born April 1 to the oldest senior; indigenous people, citizens for generations, foreign exchange students, refugee residents and undocumented folks; people who live in mansions and people who have no home.
The Faith Action Network has also received funding in other parts of the state to work on the census, so Jim CastroLang, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Colville and a member of the Faith Action Network Board, approached The Fig Tree to apply for this area.
The project will engage congregations to reach out to racial and ethnic minorities, persons experiencing homelessness/houselessness, LGBTQ persons and others.
It will combine maps of local faith communities with maps of hard-to-count communities.
“We will send a mailing to faith communities with information and the 2020 Census Faith Toolkit, prepared by Faith in Public Life,” said Jim, who will work on contract with The Fig Tree as project coordinator.
“We will help faith communities ensure people in their neighborhoods are counted and understand why it is important,” he said.
The Fig Tree included a workshop on faith community involvement in the census at the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference on Jan. 25.
For census information, call 624-2606. For project information on, call 998-7203 or 535-1813.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, Fevbruary