Answer Census, Make $$$ for Non-Profits

07/01/2020

The more information that the area’s human-services agencies have about the population, the more revenues they can raise through grants, federal and state funding. So, fill out your census questionnaire.

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SOUTHWEST COLORADO RESIDENTS ARE RESPONDING TO THE 2020 CENSUS AT FAR LOWER RATES THAN COLORADOANS STATEWIDE. AND THAT MEANS SOUTHWEST COLORADO'S FIVE COUNTIES COULD RECEIVE A SMALLER SHARE OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS LIKE SCHOOLS, ROADS, AND SOCIAL SERVICES SUPPORT FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE RESIDENTS IN THE REGION. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY KROEGER'S ACE HARDWARE. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. IF YOU HAVEN'T RESPONDED TO THE 2020 CENSUS BY PHONE, ONLINE OR BY SNAIL MAIL, YOU CAN EXPECT A KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR FROM A CENSUS WORKER IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS, THE STATE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR CONDUCTING THE DI-ANNUAL CENSUS ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WILL RESUME PERSON-TO-PERSON OUTREACH EFFORTS IN JULY TO ENSURE THAT EVERY PERSON IS COUNTED. EVERY TEN YEARS, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COUNTS THE POPULATION TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF CONGRESSIONAL SEATS COLORADO WILL HOLD IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. POPULATION COUNTS ALSO ARE USED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO DRAW BOUNDARIES FOR REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATE DISTRICTS IN THE STATE. AND CENSUS DATA ALSO DETERMINES HOW MUCH MONEY THE STATE . . . AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES . . . WILL RECEIVE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS ESTIMATES THAT EACH RESIDENT ACCOUNTS FOR ABOUT 28 HUNDRED DOLLARS IN FEDERAL FUNDING ANNUALLY. BUT RESIDENTS IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO'S FIVE COUNTIES ARE RESPONDING AT MUCH LOWER RATES THAN RESIDENTS STATEWIDE. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, SOUTHWEST COLORADO COUNTIES HAVE AN AVERAGE RESPONSE RATE OF 42 POINT 4 PERCENT COMPARED TO A 64 POINT 9 PERCENT RESPONSE RATE STATEWIDE. MONTEZUMA COUNTY HAS THE HIGHEST RESPONSE RATE IN THE REGION AT 57 POINT 6 PERCENT WHILE SAN JUAN COUNTY HAS THE LOWEST AT 24 POINT 5 PERCENT. FOR THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB, YOUR RESPONSE ALSO CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF GRANT FUNDING IT RECEIVES . . . AND THE NUMBER OF KIDS IT CAN SERVE.
YOU KNOW, OUT BUDGET IS $700,000 AND ROUGHLY 40 PERCENT OF THAT COMES FROM, YOU KNOW, GRANTS AND FOUNDATIONS, AND CLEARLY, HAVING AN ACCURATE IDEA OF WHAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE COMMUNITY ARE HELPS US DRIVE SOME OF OUR FUNDRAISING AND PROGRAMMATIC, YOU KNOW, THINGS AS WELL. YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY KIDS ARE IN THE COUNTY. HOW MANY KIDS ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 6 AND 18, WHICH IS OUR SERVICE AGE GROUP. WE WANNA MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE WELL-REPRESENTED, SO THE IDEA OF KNOWING THIS IS HOW MANY KIDS ARE HERE, AND THESE ARE THE SERVICES THAT THEY NEED, HELPS US PLAN CLEARLY FOR THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES THAT WE'RE TO IMPLEMENT. AND THEN ALSO, WHERE ELSE ARE WE NEEDED IN THE COUNTY? YOU KNOW, STEADY GROWTH TO SERVE MORE KIDS IS ALWAYS PART OF OUR MISSION. SO KNOWING WHERE THOSE KIDS ARE WITHIN THE COUNTY HELPS US PLAN. THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB RECENTLY PARTICIPATED A STATEWIDE EFFORT FUNDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS TO EDUCATE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THE CIVIC IMPORTANCE OF RESPONDING THE CENSUS AND TO ENCOURAGE THEIR FAMILIES TO ANSWER THE 10-QUESTION SURVEY. MORRIS ESTIMATES THE CLUB CONTACTED ABOUT 500 FAMILIES IN LA PLATA COUNTY WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE CENSUS THROUGH FAMILY GAME NIGHTS ONLINE AND THROUGH CARE PACKAGES DELIVERED TO FAMILIES BY DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R. THE BOTTOM LINE? MORRIS SAID THAT IF YOU WANT YOUR SCHOOLS TO RECEIVE STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING, YOUR GRANDMA TO RECEIVE MEALS ON WHEELS, OR JUST ENSURE THAT SOUTHWEST COLORADO GETS ITS FAIR SHARE OF FEDERAL AND STATE DOLLARS, YOU NEED TO RESPOND TO THE CENSUS.
SO IT'S 10 QUESTIONS. IT'S REALLY TO GET AN IDEA OF HOW MANY PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTY, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE FUNDING THAT WE NEED TO PROVIDE A TON OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES. AND, YOU KNOW, THOSE SERVICES ARE AMONG THOSE THINGS THAT CAN BE IMPACTED. CLEARLY, SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND ROADS AND EVERYTHING ELSE. SO IT'S JUST SUPER IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT TO BE COUNTED.TO RESPOND TO THE CENSUS ONLINE OR TO REPLY BY PHONE, GO TO 20 20 CENSUS DOT GOV. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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