Last chance to be counted!

To the Editor:

Yes, the 2020 Census is still happening.

As of Sept. 14, the town of Guilderland response rate to the 2020 Census by phone, mail, online, and in-person visit by a census employee was 74.7 percent  (the 2010 final response rate was 75.2 percent). In Altamont, the current response rate is 76.0 percent (the 2010 response rate was 42.9 percent).

If we all don’t complete the census, our communities will be undercounted. Don't let this happen!

Why is this important?

— Money: Census data is the basis of funding for many institutions, programs, and services we depend on;

— Power: Congressional seats are apportioned by population data from the census. States and municipalities also use the data to draw district lines; and

— Respect: Getting counted makes our communities visible, particularly for communities who do not have access to the ballot box.

In Albany County, 40 percent of all county sales tax is distributed to communities based on population.  With lower census numbers, the town and village will miss out on these important dollars to fund programs for kids, veterans, and seniors.

In addition, the federal government spending of $1.5 trillion annually on aid to our state and local governments is based on the numbers collected during the census. Not for profits provide needed services — school lunches, child health insurance, child-care grants, veterans’ programs, and Medicaid are just a few of the programs affected.

In addition, census numbers affect each states’ number of representatives in Congress — and through a redistricting process, voting districts.

Everyone living in the United States has the right to be counted in the 2020 Census. Every immigrant, every child, every neighbor, every student, everyone. Even if you can’t vote, filling out the 2020 Census is a way to make your voice heard.

Whether it’s putting money into schools and community food programs, protection from discrimination, or freedom from violence, our communities deserve to be made whole. The 2020 Census is a tool for change — please use it!

The deadline still is Sept. 30. Two more weeks to go.

The nine-question form takes 10 minutes to fill out. If you haven’t completed the Census, please do it today. You can respond to the census by phone in 13 different languages.

Visit or call (844) 330-2020 to get counted (& share this with a friend!).

There are no questions involving your political views or citizenship status, and by law your response and contact information is confidential for 72 years.  The Census is an easy way to help yourself and your community!

10 minutes, 10 years, a complete Census 2020. Now is the time!

Kerry Dineen

Mayor of Altamont


Joe Burke


Altamont Free Library


Jim Gaughan

Mayor of Altamont

2005 to 2017

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