By Peter A. Napolitano
The past several weeks has been unprecedented. On behalf of my family and myself, our hearts go out to you, your loved ones and everyone who has been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). As bad as this has been, it will be worse if aid to Everett is reduced due to an inaccurate census count this year. Currently Everett has one of the lowest response rates in the Commonwealth. This can adversely affect all of us for the next ten years.
Every decade our great Nation conducts a census, and while the reasons in the past for not filling it out have been pretty weak, there are really no excuses in 2020. Most residents are at home. The 2020 U.S. census is the most important count of the decade. Every resident in the United States needs to be accurately counted to provide valuable statistics to determine how the government runs the country and on the local level, how to gauge adjustments to vital programs like housing, education, transportation and even the health care industry. The census impacts a lot of different spheres in our society but it will critically hurt our City if we are documented with a smaller population than we are actually serving. Many of our residents have been struggling to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and a quality education for their families. Federal funding provides us with the means to address some of these issues and that is why accuracy is critical. An uncounted population negatively affects our ability to address issue and impacts everyone.
How do you respond if you have not completed the Census by now? You can respond on-line at https://2020census.gov/, by phone in English ( 844-330-2020 ), Spanish ( 844-468-2020 ), Haitian Creole ( 844-477-2020 ) and Portuguese ( 844-474-2020) or simply mail back the form sent to you in April. While the nation is coming to grips with this national crisis, the census is not to be taken lightly. It is crucial to the government’s function, and we have been doing it for 230 years. The census helps shape many different aspects of our community. Do your part and complete the census today. Everyone needs to be counted. Continue to stay safe and stay healthy.
Peter A. Napolitano, is Councilor-at-Large.