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Rock it in Reidsville: How important is the 2020 Census to Team Reidsville?

Rock it in Reidsville: How important is the 2020 Census to Team Reidsville?

Only $5 for 5 months

The importance of an accurate 2020 Census data count cannot be denied, especially for local municipalities like the City of Reidsville.

This data is used as the federal government distributes more than $675 billion annually to state and local governments for various programs and services.

The City of Reidsville began working on a strategy for the 2020 Census as far back as 2018.

A complete Count Committee was formed with city staff.

The purpose of the committee was to help increase both awareness and understanding of the importance of the 2020 Census and encourage our citizens to participate.

Following the selection of the committee, an advertising campaign was established that included a prominent billboard on Freeway Drive featuring the City’s logo for Census 2020.

A ReidsvilleCensus2020.rocks page was created on the city website, Rise Up Reidsville.

The various city social media platforms have provided updates on the status of the Census and Reidsville’s response rates to filling the Census out.

Flyers and posters with information on the Census have been distributed throughout the city, and some have been placed on residents’ trash receptacles as a way to reach citizens that might not have access to social media.

The Census is just 12 questions and the magnitude of those questions is very far reaching.

Things like economic development touch home, according to Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker.

“The data collected by the Census helps businesses and industries decide where they are going to relocate and expand their operations and which products and services they will offer their customers.”

The data helps city Planners and developers decide where and what type of housing is needed. Highway planning and construction uses the data for development of new highways like Interstate 785.

In past years Reidsville has been somewhat stable when it comes to population with new residents replacing those that have been lost. However, the expectation is the 2020 Census results will show that tide has changed, and growth is on the upswing.

Local realtors will tell you that the housing market has been hot, many of which are people new to the city. We have also seen a lot of new residential construction occurring over the past 2½ years as well.

There are many factors for this perceived resurgence in population numbers. Among them are the city’s residential recruitment campaign and our designation as a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community. Reidsville is a great location.

Small cities are making a comeback, especially those conveniently located to larger metros like Greensboro and Winston-Salem. We have the best of both worlds within easy reach. The I-785 designation and improvements to the roadway will make us a “hop, skip and jump” away from the Piedmont Triad International Airport.

All of these factors have led to increased numbers of Reidsville residents, but if people don’t fill out their Census forms, we won’t benefit from these changes.

The US Census Bureau is doing everything it can to make it easier for citizens to be counted. You can respond in one of three ways — online, by phone or by mail.

This is actually the first time people have had the ability to fill out their information online, either on a computer or mobile device.

If you live in the city, you have probably received CodeRED calls from our Council Members inviting you to fill the Census out. The Council wants our citizens to understand how this data can affect the type of funding our city and organizations within our city receive. They have also been on our local TV station to discuss the importance of the Census.

The plan is, once our facilities are back open to the public, to have computers setup at RCARE and city hall for people to come in and fill out the Census if they do not have the ability at home.

Many people express concerns about what happens with the information they share. By law, the federal government cannot release any information from the Census that identifies you, your home or business — not even to law enforcement agencies. Your answers can’t be used against you by any government agency or court.

The Census Bureau will never ask you for information like your social security number, money or donations, or bank and/or credit card account numbers.

All Census workers will be wearing the appropriate badge and credentials when they come to your home, but if you don’t want them to stop by, you need to fill out the appropriate forms either online, by phone or by mail.

The Census was scheduled to run through August 2020, but because of COVID-19, the time to respond has been extended to October 5, 2020. The other aspect that was delayed was door-to-door Census workers collecting responses. As restrictions are lifted in different areas, the workers will begin knocking on doors. There are still some temporary part-time positions that are opening and you can apply at US Jobs.gov or Census Jobs.gov.

For more information about the Census and how important it is to our community, please visit ReidsvilleCensus2020.rocks.

And please fill it out!

Joe Dexter is a staff writer for RockinghamNow. He can be reached at 336-349-4331 ext. 6139 or @JoeDexter_RCN on Twitter.

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