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Take the 2020 Census to make Pasco count

Guest column

By Pasco Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Moore

The start of a new decade brings an important constitutional duty for all of our citizens. A little bit of your time answering questions can make a big difference for the future of Pasco County.

In mid-March, postcards started arriving in mailboxes inviting you to take the 2020 U.S. Census online. This is the first time the Census has had an online option for self-response. If you prefer, you can still submit your Census information by mail, telephone or in person to a Census Bureau representative. Beginning in May, representatives will follow up to addresses of people who did not respond.

It is important to know you will never be asked for sensitive personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers by a Census Bureau employee. Your responses are secure, confidential and protected by federal law.

Pasco County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida, and your participation in the Census helps us plan for — and fund — a bright future for our communities. Being counted helps us fund the roads you drive, the schools your children attend and the vital public programs that serve our neighbors in need. In addition, reapportionment for the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by Census data.

In 2010, Pasco County had an 83 percent response rate to the Census. Our goal for 2020 is for a 100 percent response rate to ensure we have the representation and funding our community needs for the future.

To reach this goal, the Pasco County Commission has appointed a Complete Count Committee of members who will work on getting the word out. Each commissioner made two appointments for a 10-person group working hard to make sure Pasco County counts.

There are subcommittees covering education, interfaith, community-based/non-profit organizations, media/public information, business, veterans, seniors, multicultural and housing. If you would like to get involved, please email Census2020@mypasco.net.

Encourage your friends and family to take the Census, as well. And you can use the hashtag #MakePascoCount on social media.

The beauty of the Pasco County Census effort is that no matter who you are or what your situation is, you can make a difference for Pasco County’s future.

Together, we can make Pasco count.

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