Welcome your census takers, Indian Country needs to be counted

Submitted by Lindsey Watkins, Marketing Manager, Tulalip Tribes

Beginning August 10, if you have not completed your census survey, a census enumerator will visit your home to ensure that you and your family are counted. Census enumerators are your neighbors–people from your community, hired by the Census Bureau, to go door-to-door and collect census information from residents that have not completed their 2020 Census. Census enumerators can be identified by ID cards displayed openly, their official Census bag, and are likely members of your community, so welcome them when they arrive—the whole process should not take more than 10 minutes. The census taker or field representative will present an ID badge that includes their name, their photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and the expiration date. They will have an official bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device, such as a laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo. Census takers and field representatives will conduct their work between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm.

  If a census enumerator comes to your door, they will interview you so they can count all the residents of each household. They will ask you approximately ten questions on their electronic form and fill in your answers. Even if you just forgot to complete your form, the census taker still must ask you the questions and complete the form with your answers. They cannot let you fill out their form for them. They will be wearing a face mask and staying outside your door following CDC guidelines and not ask to come into your home.

  They will not ask for your social security number, and your information is confidential and can’t be shared with anyone outside of the Census Bureau, including law enforcement.  If no one is home at the time of the visit, the census enumerator will leave helpful follow-up information to make sure your household is counted.

  Remember, this is your chance to make sure Indian Country is accurately counted. Funding for schools, roads, health clinics, and other facilities depends on it. An accurate count may trigger reapportionment, ensuring we are properly represented in Congress. An accurate count gets Tulalip a fair share of grants and other funding; it makes sure your share does not go to neighboring cities or towns. For everyone who is not counted, the Tulalip community could lose approximately $3,000 per person, per year, for the next ten years!  

  Currently, the Tulalip Census self-response percentage rate is about 10% lower than the rate for Washington State. If you have not already done so, you can avoid having a Census Taker come to your household by responding now online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mail if you complete and return a Census questionnaire that was mailed to your home.