The Census 2020 is coming! Back in 1999 and 2000, I was the manager for the U.S. Census Bureau's West-Central Illinois office. That office was responsible for gathering information and counting every person in an eight county area including Adams County. The information was then, and is now, extremely important in making this area a better place to live. Here it is some 20 years later and I imagine the same problems exist that did then. The major one was the privacy issue. People don't want to provide the information needed. I understood their concerns then and I understand their concerns now. The biggest challenge facing the Census workers now is trying to educate people as to how this information will turn around and benefit them and their communities.

So why is the Census important?  The Census data is used in many ways. It helps the nation decide how and where Federal money is allocated.  That money supports new roads, schools and healthcare programs as well as services for children and seniors in our area.

Who is counted in the Census?  Everyone in your household including children and babies.

What does my Census information I provide ensure?  It provides Representation, Funding and Information. As our population grows and migrates, equal representation changes with it. Therefore, you may acquire equitable representation in the U.S. Congress.

Federal funding for state and local programs such as Education, Housing, Roads, Public transportation, Public Safety, Healthcare, Senior Care, Neighborhood Improvements and Parks & Recreation are determined by you being counted.

The Census Information gathered helps businesses determine where to build new facilities, offices and stores which lead to additional employment opportunities in our communities.

Census 2020 postcards will be coming in your mailbox in March with Census Day being April 1, 2020. If you need more information, go to www.Census.gov/2020census.

For your benefit and those in our area, please fill out your Census form when you get it in March and return it. It is vital for all the reasons listed above to make your city, county and area a better place to live.