Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau undertakes a mammoth task: counting all the people residing in the United States.
Not only is the count mandated by the U.S. Constitution, it also affects the allocation of funding for our community’s public resources, like roads, hospitals and schools. Those funding dollars are directly tied to New Mexico’s plans for the future.
An accurate count is imperative to making sure states receive appropriate federal funding and Congressional representation.
“This decennial census is so important to making sure every single person in New Mexico is counted – regardless of age or race, immigration or socioeconomic status,” said Nancy López, co-chair of the UNM 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. “It will provide an accurate snapshot to ensure communities across our state receive the funding, services and business support they deserve and need.”
The census is vital to regulating federal funding allocations, and the information gathered is used to determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress. It also is used to redraw district boundaries.
For the first time, the 2020 Census will be available online, and via phone and mail. The addition of the online form is aimed at reaching a greater number of people across demographic and economic levels. For communities without access to the internet, the phone or mail option will still be available. The multi-pronged approach will be especially helpful in hard-to-count states like New Mexico.
During the months leading up to Census Day on April 1, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau is partnering with local groups across the country to educate and inform residents about the importance of being counted. The University of New Mexico is joining the effort with its own 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. The kickoff event is Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. in SUB Ballroom B on UNM’s Main Campus.
At the event, speakers from across campus and New Mexico will sound off on the importance of taking part in the census, and how it will impact our University city, state and nation. In addition, there will be an information table where people can learn more about volunteer and job opportunities.
The Census Bureau needs to hire about 500,000 census takers across the country in 2020. These jobs are critical to ensure a complete and accurate census. Applying early to work as a census taker is a great way for holiday seasonal workers, students, retirees and workers to line up spring and summer employment opportunities.
UNM 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Speakers:
Sofia Sanchez | Rep. Deborah Haaland’s office
Veronica Azarte | U.S. Census Bureau
Assata Zerai | Division of Equity and Inclusion
Gabriel Sanchez | Director for Social Policy
Cathryn McGill | New Mexico Black Leadership Council
UNM Dream Team
Francisco Ronquillo | UNM Health Sciences Center
Ryan Gregg | UNM Staff Council President
Suzan Reagan | UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research
Robert Rhatigan | UNM Geospatial & Population Studies
Tanya Campos | Albuquerque Public Schools
Sheryl Means | UNM Africana Studies
Irene Vasquez | Chicana/o Studies