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Letter to the Editor - Help us get counted

 

Last updated 9/25/2020 at 11:37am



Editor,

I am writing to remind the Havre community of the importance of the 2020 Census, with the hope that those of you who have not yet completed the Census may learn of its significance, especially in our rural communities.

Growing up in a rural community, I have witnessed firsthand the barriers we face with internet and phone service compared to larger towns and cities. These disparities, unfortunately, make it more difficult for rural residents to access the 2020 Census form. In addition, in many rural areas, the Census Bureau doesn’t mail Census forms to those who live at rural addresses and have P.O. boxes but instead sends Census Takers to homes to collect information in person. As you can imagine, given the current COVID-19 pandemic among other factors, this proves problematic and makes it difficult to accurately count our community members.

The Census happens once every 10 years. For each person not counted, Hill County will miss out on $2,000 of federal funding per year for the next decade. As a result of the limited access in our communities, Montana currently and historically has one of the lowest Census response rates in the country. This means we could be losing out on critical resources and programs that our small communities desperately need. An accurate Census count also ensures our local industries have access to loans, and Census data helps us determine where to offer services and job opportunities.

Our small towns stand to benefit enormously from the 2020 Census data and funding, and as a tight knit community, it’s important to reach out to our friends and neighbors to offer our assistance. The Census can be filled out at https://my2020census.gov , or by calling 844-330-2020. On Sept. 30, the self-response for the 2020 Census will close, and we need to ensure all of our neighbors are counted by this date!

Thank you for your help in this important matter.

Lindsey Bennett

Hill County resident

 
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