Complete the Census! Ensure Philadelphia Receives Its Fair Share of Federal Dollars
During the last several months, we have all been focused on the new realities of living in a socially distanced world – from learning remotely to working from home to celebrating milestones online. And some things may have fallen to the wayside, like filling out the 2020 Census. However, there is still time to complete the Census, if you haven’t already, by the October 31st deadline.
While it may not be the most important thing on your to-do list now, completing the Census does matter – especially if you are a Philadelphia resident. Getting an accurate Census count will help ensure that we get our fair share of representation and funding, not only for the next decade, but also for the next time a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic hits. The 2020 Census results will be used to determine the level of representation and decision-making power that we have on the local, state and federal level.
The Census also serves as the basis of funding allocations for some of the most critical services that we need, especially in times of crisis. For example, many social services and public works projects in the city, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Head Start, Medicaid and CHIP, rely on funding informed by the Census.
Each year, the School District of Philadelphia receives about $435 million in federal funding. Annually, more than $80 million funds free meals for thousands of students, and just over $50 million helps students who are learning English and those with special needs. Federal dollars also fund the district’s early-education programs, including Head Start.
The best way to ensure that Philadelphia gets the support and resources it needs, especially for vulnerable populations and public school students, is to be counted. Fortunately, completing the Census in the safety of our own homes has never been easier. It can be completed in about 10 minutes by phone, mail, or online at my2020census.gov. Additionally, all information collected is confidential and privacy is protected.
So let’s get counted and encourage everyone we know to complete the Census to ensure that Philadelphia receives the representation and critical funding that it deserves!