The Census Affects National Emergencies, like COVID-19
If you want Port St. Lucie to get its fair share of federal funds and recover from an economic disaster, it’s important to fill out the census. An accurate census count will be crucial for public health officials going forward.
Did you know that Census data helps first responders by:
- Identifying where and how much help is needed
- Determining the distribution of resources for public health systems
- Determining policy and budget decisions
- Receiving federal funding. The Census is the baseline for policy and budgeting for the allocation of public benefits and health programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare.
An inaccurate census could limit first responders ability to:
- Understand the spread of the virus
- Identify what groups were most affected by it
- Assist researchers in finding ways to stop future viruses from spreading
Take the Census here: my2020census.gov
About the Contest
PSL kicked-off a contest on National Census Day and they want residents in on the fun. We’re hosting a weekly contest, where participants could receive a $25 gift card just for doing their civic duty by taking part in the U.S. Census.
If you do not win one week, you are automatically re-entered into the next week’s drawing!
Contestants must fill out the Census, either by mail or online, then email PSLCensus2020@cityofpsl.com a photo of your confirmation number, name, phone number, and address. Winners will be picked weekly and announced on social media and the City’s webpage.
The contest is for Port St. Lucie residents only and begins April 1, 2020 and runs until October 1, 2020. There is only one winner per household.
We are asking you to help us spread the word about this contest, entice your family, friends, and neighbors to fill out the U.S. Census, so we can have a complete count which fairly represents our City. The Census is vital to PSL, the country's decision-makers rely on these results to allocate resources and funding. Filling it out online is quick, easy and important.
Weekly Contest Winners!
Contest winners receive a $25 gift card just for doing their civic duty by taking part in the U.S. Census.
Fact: Currently, 69.1% of PSL households have filled out the census. That’s higher than St. Lucie County’s response rate at 62.1%, Florida’s responses at 58.9%, and the National average at 61.8%, but still, far short of the robust count the City is seeking. Let’s continue to trend, by sharing this contest with a friend!
- Week 1: Marleny!
- Week 2: Tina C.!
- Week 3: Lisa C.!
- Week 4: Brian M.!
- Week 5: Jorge F., Lynda F., Yakeline P., & Edward R.!
- Week 6: Laura F., David W., James Z., and Albert R.!
- Week 7: Louis T., Randy B., Robert S., and Veronica B.!
- Week 8: Evie Valdes & Reveca Vera (1 house), Eric L., Christina Willis, Darcy and Robert Nelson
- Week 9: Robert Smith, Richard Sanchez, Brittany Beland, Patricia Wright
- Week 10: Laticka L, Elizabeth B. John O., Seth G.
- Week 11: Erika B., Laurie U., Judy P., Alexandra M.
- Week 12: Cindy P., Antonia O., David D. Kelly C.
- Week 13: Ruth R., David G., Jennifer L., G. Sheppard
- The Census Questionnaire must be completed in 1 session - you can't start it then stop and return. So to prepare, people need to have the names and dates of birth for each person who lives/stays at their address before they begin. They also need to bring the "invitation" (or one of the subsequent "reminders" if they didn't do it right away) that was mailed to them, because it has their 12-digit Census ID on it.
- HOWEVER, if they don't have their Census ID, there is a link right below the LOGIN button that says "If you do not have a Census ID, click here". Without their Census ID, their address will not auto-populate, so they will need to enter their address.
- DO NOT USE FORWARD/BACK BUTTONS on computer! Instead use "Next" or "Previous" within the questionnaire.
- Various languages can be accessed by clicking the globe on the top right corner or they are listed along the bottom of the screen
- When they are finished, they must click the Submit button
- A Confirmation Screen will appear that shows their address, date/time and a phone number if they have questions. There is an option to Save or Print.
Why should PSL care?
The U.S. Census only happens once every 10 years, but census data is used every day to shape our future. The City Port St. Lucie relies upon federal funding and grants for many projects and initiatives in our community, which are allocated based on Census data. Our City must be accurately represented, and we need everyone’s help in ensuring a complete count.
The Census has consequences that all PSL residents will live with for the next 10 years. For every person missed, it costs our local governments $1,600. It is estimated St. Lucie County lost up to $1 billion from the undercount in 2010.
You can help ensure everyone is counted by filling in the 2020 Census form. It will be a short set of questions about the number of people living in your household, their ages, race, ethnicity, and income. It’s critical that you fill out your form because your response will determine PSL’s population and federal benefits for the next decade.
Did you know that the United States Census is so much more than just a poll, head-count, or tally?
The information collected will determine how state and federal dollars are distributed, how congressional seats are apportioned, where businesses choose to ship products and where they build new stores. Our local government officials use the census data to ensure public safety, plan new schools, hospitals, neighborhoods and revitalize old neighborhoods. To do all that properly, the count needs to be accurate.
Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores, offices or other businesses in communities across the country. When planning a new business or deciding whether to hire more staff, entrepreneurs and big chains alike must answer key questions. Among them: Who are my potential customers? How many live in the area? How many similar businesses are already operating nearby? How much are those competitors paying their employees? The (annual) American Community Survey and the decennial census — both are critical resources.
That’s why it’s important to respond to the 2020 Census. Responses could lead to more jobs and new businesses in a community. Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores, offices or other businesses in communities across the country.
Confidential and Secure—Strict federal law protects census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years or both. No law enforcement agency (not the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other agency) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives.
The Census Bureau will never ask for a Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. Their robust cyber-security program incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every ten years. Completing the census is mandatory, it is a way to participate in our democracy and say, “I count!” PSL residents should take pride in standing up and being counted. Since it’s only a decennial occurrence, everyone benefits when we take part in our patriotic duty to make the census a success.
These ready-to-use resources are available for download:
- Census.gov. Census 101: What You Need to Know. 2019. (Available in Spanish)
- Census.gov. How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond. 2019. (Available in Spanish)
- American Library Association. Libraries Guide to the 2020 Census.
- Census.gov. 2020 Census and Confidentiality. 2019.
Responding to the census is easier than ever. You can complete the census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail.
United States Census Bureau. Census 101: What you need to know. www.census.gov/partners