“Data is the most critical thing in order to make a policy, social, economic, and business decisions. The data is a powerhouse of all information,” said Nour Maxwell, a representative for Census 2020.
The Census is an official survey of a population that collects data and determines critical decisions for a given population, such as the City of Rohnert Park. Maxwell came to SSU on Community Partner Thursday to talk with students who are living on or off-campus about how important it is that they are counted. Census data impacts many funding sources such as safety, health services, and many other programs that impact students. I was very surprised to know that students who were living on campus can also help Rohnert Park just by living at Sonoma State University.
“It can be used in an emergency situation. For instance, after the fires in Santa Rosa, the census helped (determine) how many were affected in a certain neighborhood,” stated Maxwell. In October 2017, Santa Rosa was impacted by a wildfire that caused many people to evacuate their homes and come back to see them burned down. At the time, it was the most destructive wildfire in California’s history burning parts of Sonoma and Napa Counties. The census helped calculate how many homes were lost and the loss in money throughout those years of rebuilding. This lets the federal government know what the community of Santa Rosa needs, such as more money for the community to rebuild new houses.
Maxwell expressed, “Next year, the Census is going to be digital. That means you will receive information about how to complete the Census online in only ten minutes.” If you don’t complete the form they send online by April 1, 2019, the census will still send it to you by mail or in person. I was very impressed by how there can be many options to complete the census data from the computer, mail, or even in person.
The census is a helpful way for students and the community to improve education, housing, and bring funding to Rohnert Park.
For more information, visit https://www.census.gov/