Village of Swanton officials have stressed the importance of the upcoming census for several months. Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle said the decennial census is important is a variety of ways.
“Being counted helps communities create jobs, provide housing, fund K-12 education, prepare for emergencies, and build schools, roads, hospitals, and libraries,” she said. “Census data determines how many seats your state gets in Congress. Also, state and local officials use census data to draw boundaries for state and local legislative districts and school districts. Census data plays an important role in economic development. Businesses plan new locations and expansions based on Census data.”
She added that under-counting in the state of Ohio can have dramatic consequences for federal funding formulas concerning Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), highway planning and construction, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and Housing Assistance Payments Programs (project-based), the National School Lunch Program, Head Start and Early Head Start, and many other federally-supported programs.
“It is estimated that for each person not counted in Ohio, it will cost Ohio about $1,814 in federal funding per year, per person for 10 years,” Hoelzle said. “Currently, Ohio leverages about $21 billion from the federal government for health and human services and infrastructure support.”
The 2020 Census has been promoted on both the village’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and on paper flyers made available at the municipal building.
“I’ve attended Toledo-Lucas County Complete County Committee meetings to learn more about ways to ensure an accurate count,” said Hoelzle. “Village officials are also working with Swanton Local Schools and the Swanton Public Library to promote the importance.”
National officials have also stressed the importance of an accurate count.
“Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade.”
Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking people to go online to complete the census questionnaire, or to respond by phone.