STLCC-Florissant Valley Raises Awareness about 2020 Census
Thursday, February 13, 2020
One, two, three. As easy as it may seem, counting, isn’t always simple.
This is especially true when it comes to including historically underrepresented populations in the United States 2020 Census.
In the past, census participants could only respond to the census survey by mail or phone.
However, with technological advancements, the 2020 Census will give participants a third option, which is to respond online.
St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley invites students, employees and community members to use campus computers to complete the census online in the Veterans Affairs office, located in the Student Center, during Preview Day on Saturday, April 4.
On Preview Day, the College welcomes the community to tour campus and explore programs and career offerings, enjoy giveaways and breakout sessions, among other activities. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
STLCC-Florissant Valley is committed to increasing awareness of and participation in the 2020 Census, and has agreed to serve on North County’s Complete Count Committee in partnership with North County Incorporated, an economic and community development advocacy organization that serves north St. Louis County.
“We hope that by providing computers for people to use, we will remove barriers and empower our neighbors in north St. Louis County to participate and be counted in the 2020 Census,” said Dr. Elizabeth Perkins, campus president and chief academic officer at STLCC-Florissant Valley.
According to the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations Administrative Records, Internet, and Hard to Count Populations Working Group, people who have typically been harder to reach and/or enumerate in the census include:
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Individuals who do not speak English fluently
- Lower income individuals
- Homeless persons
- Undocumented immigrants
- Young, mobile persons
- Individuals who are angry at and/or distrust the government
- Individuals who identify as LGBTQ.
Because the NAC Committee also discovered patterns of inequity in internet access and mobile phone use in these same hard-to-reach groups, free access to computers may help tip the scale toward equity for these groups in the STLCC-Florissant Valley service area.
Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution charges the United States of America to count its population once every 10 years. According to 2020census.gov, the 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.
The upcoming census will count people who live in the U.S. and its five territories. The U.S. Census Bureau performs this duty and the results of the tally are far reaching.
Schools, police departments and funding for other critical community resources are all determined by census data. The number of representatives a state has and how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn are also impacted by census data. Federal funding for the National School Lunch and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs are also impacted by the census count.
Sylvia Williams, a second-year student at STLCC-Florissant Valley, initially didn’t realize what the census is or why it is important.
“I’m not a political person and if it’s not important at the moment, then I don’t worry about it,” she said with a shrug. “I’m just trying to get through school.”
After being informed about how census data is used, she nodded yes when asked if she understood why the census is important to her future.
“It’s probably easier for people to just pull it up on their phones or on the computer to do it,” Williams said about the new survey option.