If you’re from Wisconsin, do yIn the next week or two, every home in the United States will receive a letter with an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.
Becky Schigiel, partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, spoke to the Waunakee Rotary Club on March 12 about the census. It was the first day these letters were mailed.
Conducting a census is mandated by the United States Constitution, Becky said.
The numbers from the census are the basis for how many seats are in the U.S. House of Representatives. They also help in decisions about redistricting, funds allocated to states for road improvements, education and public services and other decisions business owners make about their locations.
In Waunakee and other communities, Complete Count committees comprising leaders help to inform others about the census, and Becky is doing outreach with a number of counties.
This year, U.S. residents can complete the census form in three different ways. Letters will provide a website address to complete the form online. They can also wait for a form to be mailed. Or they can complete it by phone.
“Starting now, you will get a letter saying what the website and phone number is,” Becky said.
If the Census Bureau does not receive a reply, a form will be mailed starting April 8. Afterwards, if the Bureau receives no response, census workers will come to the person’s door.
The census is done every 10 years. In 2010, about three-quarters of the households did not respond, although the response in Wisconsin was higher at about 80 percent. Becky said for every person who does not respond, the a couple of thousand dollars in federal funding is lost for the next 10 years.
The last census also showed that children under age 5 were the least counted, she said.
The final results of the census are due Dec. 31 and will go to the President. They will then be released to the states in April.
For more information about the census, visit my2020census.gov or 2020census.gov.
Other News:
March 12 was also Club Assembly. The following are the committee reports:
-An exchange student from Finland has been approved to come to Waunakee for the 2020-21 school year. One family has applied and three others have stated interest in hosting the student.
-A golf outing may be a future fundraiser for the club. It would be held in August.
-The Steak Fry is planned for the third week in June at Schumacher Farm Park. Also, the boat ride is planned on Lake Mendota in July with a stop at Bishops Bay.
-Several speakers are planned, including Waunakee Resident Rob Kaas, a Walgreens pharmacist, who will talk about the opioid epidemic.

Guests: None.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: March 22, David Dargenio; March 23, Phil Simon.
Anniversaries: March 19, Lisa and John Humenik.
Programs: March 19, Rob Kaas, Walgreen’s pharmacist on the opioid epidemic; March 26, Michael Wagner, UW journalism professor, on deciding what’s true in a polarized society.
Greeters: March 19, Ken Pesik and James Pingel; March 26, Erick Plumb and Corey Randl.