Every count matters: ACC Experts weigh-in on 2020 Census

ACC Expert on Census

Invitations for the 2020 Census are with households nationwide. The Census helps determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities over the next ten years. ACC Elections and Government Relations Manager Alicia Del Rio weighs in on why every count matters.

By Alicia Del Rio, Elections and Government Relations Manager

What is the 2020 Census?
The Census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. It happens every 10 years. In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future.

Why does the Census matter?
Results of the 2020 Census will significantly impact communities over the next 10 years, informing how billions of dollars in public funds are spent each year and shaping political representation in each state. 2020 Census results:

  • Inform decisions about how public funds for critical public services flow into your community, including Funding for hospitals and clinics, emergency response, roads and highways, and schools and education programs.
  • Help lawmakers redraw legislative and school districts in your state.
  • Help businesses decide where to locate or expand, which could lead to new jobs.

What is ACC’s role in the Census?
Austin Community College is committed to encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to participate in the 2020 Census. ACC’s role is to inform students, staff, and faculty and help provide resources that answer:

  • What is the Census?
  • How does the Census impact me and my community?
  • How do I fill out the Census?
  • What is the timeline for completing the 2020 Census form?

Will the Census have an impact on ACC?
Yes, the Census plays a role in determining the amount of federal funding public higher-education institutions receive. In 2019, ACC received $72,248,438 in federal funding assisting students and the institution.

What are the requirements for the Census (can I refuse to answer questions)?
By law, you, as an individual, are required to fill out the Census form. It’s required because the Census is so important. Preventing an undercount to the maximum extent possible ensures that the Census most accurately reflects the makeup of the country.

Are individual responses confidential?
Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, Census responses are confidential and protected by law. The law requires the Census Bureau to use responses only to produce statistics. Personal information will never be shared with immigration or other law enforcement agencies. Individual responses cannot be used to determine personal eligibility for government benefits. The Census Bureau cannot publicly release responses in any way that could identify an individual, business, organization, or institution.

When will the results be released, and what can we learn from them?
All 2020 redistricting data will be released by April 1, 2021. Other data will be released in the months to follow. The data provided will reveal the statistical area population and demographic changes.

Why do I have to answer the Census?
Completing the Census and ensuring you are counted is an important civic duty. Census undercounts can cost our community millions of dollars in funding for important programs, including programs that help our students

For more information, visit austincc.edu/census.