osceola us censusThe U.S. Census is a way for citizens within the community to affect change and increase representation at all levels of government. Since 1790, the population of the United States has been counted as mandated in the U.S. Constitution. A complete and accurate count of the citizens in every state, city, and community helps determine how federal funding can be allocated and community representation can be structured.

“It’s important that everyone participates in the 2020 Census,” says Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator. “With a full, accurate count of Osceola, our voice is strengthened and  it becomes easier to meet the needs of our growing community.”

By being included in the 2020 Census, you can help give Osceola a voice. The federal government uses the census data to decide how and where hundreds of billions of dollars in funding get dispersed around the country. No matter the size or location, this funding has a hand in shaping different aspects of each and every community.

Here is just a sample of what census results affect:

  • Congressional representation
  • Where to build new schools
  • Highway planning and construction
  • Education programs to support teachers and students
  • Community and business development
  • Natural disaster response resources, hospitals, and fire departments
  • Wildlife protection and restoration
  • Child abuse prevention
  • Housing assistance

Each decade, the goal of the census is to make sure that every citizen gets counted fully and accurately so cities and counties can get the resources needed to take care of their residents. So far, Osceola has a response rate of 61.4%, Clarke County is at 64.0%, and the state of Iowa sits at a 68% self-response rate.

“Clarke County and the city of Osceola are poised for tremendous growth and opportunity,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. “If we can beat the state response average and really have our community counted, we can increase quality of life for everyone who lives and works here.”

The census questionnaire can be taken online, by mail, or over the phone and all responses are confidential. The information gathered will never be shared or used to determine personal government benefits. It also excludes anything about citizenship. Every answer to every question is bound by law to be used strictly for data collection.

To get your own census invitation by mail or to complete your questionnaire online, visit my2020census.gov to get started. You can also find out how to respond by phone, who needs to be counted, what questions you will be asked, and answers to all your questions regarding the census.

This article was first published on http://clarkecountylife.com.