Gov. Kate Brown unveiled a new website last week to let Oregonians know about the upcoming 2020 census in hopes of getting full participation so the state is represented accurately.
It includes background information, why participation matters and a timeline of events.
Getting an accurate census count is critical in making sure states receive a fair amount of federal funding, as it's distributed on a per-capita basis and the feds rely on census data to confirm population size.
In addition to securing federal funding, the website notes that experts predict Oregon could gain a 6th congressional seat if the census count is complete this year, which would "amplify Oregon's voice in Washington D.C."
"Our democracy's strength relies on representation, and the 2020 Census is integral to making sure that Oregonians receive their fair share of federal resources and congressional representation over the next decade," Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. "From more dollars for our schools and hospitals to ensuring our roads are safe and well kept, the census has a significant impact in the everyday lives of all Oregonians—and I'm committed to working with all partners across Oregon to ensure an accurate and complete count."
In an attempt to count as many communities in the census as possible, Gov. Brown secured $7.5 million in the biennial budget during the 2019 legislative session. Full participation in Oregon, according to the website, includes more than 4 million people across 36 counties.
"A complete and accurate census count tells the story of Oregon — who we are and where we are going," the website says. "From Tillamook to Ontario, Astoria to Klamath Falls, full participation in the upcoming census is vital to the prosperity of our communities."
Oregonians can expect to receive a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau starting in mid-March of this year asking for their participation; the count ends in July. The website notes that the census will mainly be conducted online this year for the first time in history, but residents can send in responses by phone or mail if preferred.
The state will open several Census Assistance Centers (CACs) from April until July 2020, where residents can get help with their form or ask questions. There are also several tools and resources on the website.