Local officials, businesses remind public of the 2020 Census’ importance, deliver masks in critical areas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Local officials and businesses wanted to remind everyone, including children, seniors, and temporary residents, about the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census. They also gave out masks to the public at the La Bonita Supermarket on 2203 Civic Center.

As we enter the July 4 patriotic celebration of America’s independence, elected officials, Fire Chiefs from regional fire departments, Census representatives and business owners stressed the importance of wearing masks to protect against spreading COVID-19.

With masks in hand, North Las Vegas Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Isaac Barron spoke to the residents of Ward 1 about the Census and why it’s crucial to this community that is predominantly Latino.

“This, an underserved community, is the kind of community that definitely stands the most to gain by being fully counted during the census,” said Barron.

They noted it takes 10 minutes to fill out the 10-question form, and the benefits last 10 years. They also said that historically, minority communities are undercounted, which leads to less funding for infrastructure, schools and social services.

“This risks are too high,” said Barron, “We have to have everybody be counted.”

8 News NOW’s Kate Houston was at the event. Watch her livestream here:

To help bridge this gap, businesses like Tortillas Inc. are stepping in to be a role model in the community.

“Sometimes, there’s a little fear of, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to be counted, but it’s important that we’re all counted for the betterment of our community and our state.”

Following remarks on the importance of Census participation, elected officials and community leaders distributed masks to several other businesses for their employees in traditionally hard-to-count Census neighborhoods.

Employees at these businesses will wear green Census masks in the hopes that they will encourage local neighborhoods to fill out their census forms.

  • Downtown Las Vegas
  • North Las Vegas
  • Historic West Las Vegas

Southern Nevada Counts Complete Count Committee donated 3,000 masks to be distributed through the month of July.

Billions of dollars in federal funds are at stake for the community. Without an accurate count, funding for critical infrastructure, public safety programs, social services, transportation, and schools in Clark County and Nevada will be allocated to other states.

Census representatives were available to answer questions and help people complete their Census at the La Bonita Supermarket event site.

Local officials who were in attendance:

  • Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly
  • North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron
  • North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes Brown
  • Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz
  • Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck
  • Henderson Fire Chief Shawn White
  • Las Vegas Fire Chief William McDonald
  • North Las Vegas Fire Chief Joseph Calhoun
  • La Bonita Owner Armando Martinez
  • La Bonita Owner Tony Martinez

Area fire trucks were also onsite as a public safety reminder to complement the message about the importance of wearing masks.

There is still time to complete the Census online and by phone in Spanish, English, and other languages through October. Census takers will visit homes that haven’t responded beginning August 11.

For more information, visit www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com.

2020 Census information:

  • It’s quick and easy. The 2020 Census questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete.
  • It’s safe, secure, and confidential. Your information and privacy are protected.
  • Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services.
  • Results from the 2020 Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government.

Without maximum Census participation, Nevada stands to lose more than $6 billion in federal funds per year – for the next 10 years – with the lost dollars allocated to other states. This funding supports vital programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as dozens of programs benefiting schools, highways, and health systems.

Additionally, many civic and social programs depend on Census funding allocations. A list of 55 of the largest Census-funded programs is here: https://www.southernnevadacounts.com/impact-nv

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