ROCHELLE – The upcoming United States 2020 Census will begin counting next week.
Counting will begin with self-response invitations being sent to households throughout the community. Residents can expect the invitations to arrive between March 13-20 and no later than April 1. They will include instructions on how to respond using three different methods.
“It will include a personal identifier linked to their address, a website to respond online, a phone number to respond over the phone and instruction on how to request a paper census,” said Sue Messer, assistant to the city manager/city clerk.
The invitations will be printed double sided, English on one side and Spanish on the other. The city is also offering different locations and times to help anyone who is in need of a computer or personal assistance.
A card listing each location and time can be picked up at Rochelle City Hall. Along with the locations for help, the city is hosting an Ice cream social and multiple events at local parks throughout the month of April to respond.
“We are going to have some park events where we will be set up to help people, as well as feed them a hot dog and some chips,” said Messer. “Then we are having an ice cream social on April 1. from 3 to 6 p.m., at City Hall. We will have Culver’s ice cream and El Rey radio station out of Mendota will be here too.”
Residents who don’t respond right away will get multiple reminders to do so. If they have not responded by May, United States Census takers will begin going door to door. All Census takers have received background checks and will have an official I.D. badge.
The city would like people to know that their information is protected by federal law from being given to any other government agency or police station. But, the city cannot stress the importance of an accurate count, to ensure Rochelle does not miss out of valuable funding, both federally and from the state.
“Every single person not counted is a loss of about $1,800 per year, for 10 years to our region,” said Messer.