Starting next week, residents will begin to see invitations in the mail to take the 2020 Census. For the first time in history, households will now be able to respond online as well as by mail or by phone. The new online option will be offered in English and 12 other languages, covering over 99 percent of languages spoken in U.S. households. Video and print guides to the Census form are also available in English and 59 other languages.

Your information and your answers are kept strictly confidential with laws in place that ensure that no government agency or court can use any data against you. All data gathered is kept anonymous and used purely for statistical purposes. In addition, the IT infrastructure for the online survey is designed to defend against and contain cyberthreats.

Getting a complete and accurate count in 2020 requires everyone’s help, as results will determine which communities will benefit from hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding over the next decade, impacting areas such as health clinics, highways, fire departments, disaster response, education programs and college tuition assistance to name a few.

Recently, the Library hosted a free public workshop to help provide information about the Census, and the City’s Communications Department was there to catch some of the workshop on video.