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Census touches every life in Arizona, count must be complete

A Census 2020 form is seen Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Toksook Bay, Alaska. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A Census 2020 form. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Arizona has seen major growth over the past ten years, and we’re on track for more. The 2020 Census is our opportunity to ensure that through our complete count, we can preserve Arizona’s outstanding quality of life and plan for the next decade.

Census participation is not only our civic duty and a founding element of our democracy, the results touch nearly every element of our lives. From planning our transportation infrastructure to the way businesses make decisions – the Census matters.

What’s at stake for Arizona?

Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson

Federal funding totaling $675 billion is on the line for distribution to states. In fact, nearly $3,000 per Arizonan every year can be tied to the Census count – that’s more than $20.5 billion annually. These funds support things like education, health care, infrastructure, child safety, and so much more.

An undercount could result in a direct loss of millions of dollars over the next decade. By responding to the Census, we can preserve the outstanding quality of life Arizona offers and plan for our future.

But the Census is about more than money.

The 2020 Census directly impacts Arizona’s representation at every level of government – from our cities and towns here in Arizona to Washington, D.C. Depending on population, federal and state representative seats will be allocated and district lines that determine our political boundaries will be set based on the results of the 2020 Census.

And Census data drives research and impacts private sector transactions every day, like a company deciding to move to Arizona because of our growing workforce.

So what is Arizona doing to make sure every Arizonan knows they count?

Allie Bones

Allie Bones

Last year, Gov. Doug Ducey created the Arizona Complete Count Committee, a diverse group of individuals from across the state, to work directly in their communities to share the message that the Census is safe, easy, and important. We’re working in tandem with our local partners and the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that Arizona’s count is complete in 2020. It’s truly a team effort, covering every corner of the state.

Arizona’s population is as diverse as its geography, and that’s something we’re proud of – this effort is implementing a multifaceted approach focused on reaching traditionally undercounted communities and the most rural parts of our great state to motivate Arizonans to respond.

This week marked the official launch of the AZ Census 2020 effort, including community-based initiatives, engagement by all of Arizona’s state agencies, an informational website with grassroots community tools, a comprehensive communications campaign, and much more.

AZ Census 2020 has developed a broad array of innovative and locally targeted approaches to reach the communities where Arizona has historically seen under-represented counts, some of which include: young children, multi-family housing residents, military families, non-native English speakers, low-income households and minorities.

We need your help.

We’re calling on all Arizonans to learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census and to start talking about the significance of this democratic tradition. Learn more and pledge your support at azcensus2020.gov.

Every Arizonan can be part of shaping our future.

Debbie Johnson is director of the Arizona Office of Tourism and chairs the Arizona Complete Count Committee. Allies Bones is an assistant secretary of State and is vice chair of the committee.

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