The vulnerable in Guilderland will suffer if you don’t get counted

To the Editor:

You count and you need to be counted!

The deadline for the final day to submit your 2020 census form is Sept. 30, shortened by a month at the order of Donald Trump.

Therefore, it is so important that residents of Altamont and Guilderland, as well as everyone anywhere take their participation seriously because a lot is at stake.

We know, as of Aug. 27, that the rate of response to the census in the town of Guilderland was 73.7 percent. Leaving more than a quarter of the possible total tally behind means leaving money on the table.

Who could suffer? Who and what could be left out in the cold?

For starters, those populations most vulnerable, meaning programs that serve children, veterans, and the elderly. Read HeadStart, outreach services to aging or disabled vets, and supportive services to older folks that keep them in their homes, like Meals on Wheels and transportation services.

The Medicaid program’s continuance as we know it could be seriously affected with small tots not getting the early childhood medical attention they need and grandparents’ choice to visit a doctor being radically curtailed.

Congressional seats depend on census data. The last thing we need is to have a diminished voice in Congress. When reapportionment lines are drawn in 2021, we want as much of our population represented as possible.

Traditionally, the federal government spends $1.5 trillion annually on aid to state and local governments based on the census numbers. Let’s not put that aid in danger. Washington needs to know how many of us there are so we get the funding for our communities we deserve. After all, what do we pay taxes for?

Each and every Altamont and Guilderland resident can make a difference. The time to act is now.

The nine-question census form takes 10 minutes to fill out. No questions ask political affiliation or citizenship status. The website is a finger tap away, or call 844-330-2020 to help Altamont and Guilderland get and keep their fair share of federal monies and Congressional representation.

Only you can make the difference here. Be counted!

Betty Head


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