When American citizens hear the word census, most recognize that it is time to fall in place and be counted. The historical facts and purpose of the census are far more in-depth and in many cases, quite interesting.

Also known as the Population and Housing Census, the Decennial U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States and is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution.

The census takes place every 10 years and Census 2020 begins April 1.

Miami-Dade County officials, community leaders, administrators, and stakeholders gathered Monday, March 2, to discuss and share district plans in support of the national efforts.

Miami-Dade Public School Board vice-chair Dr. Steve Gallon III joined a cohort of attendees including Miami-Dade County Commission Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner and Miami-Dade County Census 2020 Task Force Chair Steven Bovo and North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony F. DeFillipo.

“The Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply committed to ensuring that every eligible resident is counted,” said Gallon who also serves as the vice chair of the Miami-Dade county census 2020 Task Force.

“This collaborative effort will also ensure the appropriate representation for various positions of elected office, as well as the fair, appropriate, and equitable allocation of federal resources to support our community, families, and most important, our children.”

The census tells us who we are and where we are going as a nation, and helps our communities determine where to build everything from schools to supermarkets, and from homes to hospitals.

An increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units will be counted in Census 2020. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau must build an accurate address list of every housing unit, maximize self-response to the census, and efficiently follow up with those who do not respond. The support and participation of entities such as M-DCPS is critical to a successful census data collection and outreach program and process.

The 2010 Census represented the most massive participation movement ever witnessed in our country. Approximately 74 percent of the households returned their census forms by mail; the remaining households were counted by census workers walking neighborhoods throughout the United States.

Results of census also have political ramifications as data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the US House of Representatives, and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. It helps the government decide how to distribute funds and assistance to states and localities. It is also used to draw the lines of legislative districts and reapportion the seats each State holds in Congress.

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