Census 2020 prep begins

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Jillian Cordova of the United States Census Bureau spoke about the organization’s preparations for the 2020 count.

CAMBRIDGE — April 1, 2020 is Census Day, and officials from the federal to the local level are preparing for the count, taken every 10 years. Jillian Cordova and Brittany Palmer of the United States Census Bureau spoke to members of the Dorchester County Council on June 4, telling them of the efforts already underway.

“Cambridge is a little bit unique,” Ms. Cordova said. “There is a little bit of everything, but not an overwhelming demographic.” It has been classified as “concerning,” with a predicted low response rate.

Her office’s job, she said, is to find out what matters to the community, and to match her office’s goals with those of the county and to understand how residents will respond.

“Everybody needs to be counted,” she said. “Everyone utilizes the resources.”

Across the state, Ms. Cordova said, the response rate in 2000 and 2010 was about 76 percent. “But we need to do better,” she added.

According to a George Washington University study, “Counting for Dollars,” Maryland missed about $1,800 for every person per year not counted in the census. Among the populations sometimes undercounted are those who do not speak English, and children under the age of 5.

“The more complex a household or living situation is, the more difficult it is to get that population counted,” Ms. Cordova said.
To combat undercounting, the state has formed a Complete Count Committee. The group is non-partisan.

There will also be jobs available locally. “We are doing tons and tons of local hiring,” Ms. Cordova said. “The pay starts at $18.50 an hour, pretty good for this area.”

To learn more about census preparations and local jobs, call Ms. Cordova at 267-780-2600, or email jillian.cordova@2020census.gov.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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