Longietti urges all residents to participate in U.S. Census, be counted

HERMITAGE, April 1 – On Census Day, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, urges all residents to compete the U.S. Census form and be counted, saying that their participation is vital to securing federal funding for essential programs and services.

 “The U.S. Census only happens once every 10 years, and it’s our community’s once-in-a-decade chance to stand up and be counted,” Longietti said. “That count is critical because it determines who gets access to billions of dollars in federal funding. If our residents don’t respond in full force, those dollars – for health care, roads, education, transportation and other essential services – end up going elsewhere.

“In addition to funding, the count also determines the extent of our representation in Congress, so participating and being counted directly affects how much of a say we have in Washington. I’m urging everyone to do their part and get counted – so much is at stake for our county and our community.”

Longietti said based on the last census count, Pennsylvania receives $27 billion annually for federally funded programs.

He said residents should not have safety or security concerns because census answers can’t be used against someone responding, and data security is managed by experts in the field. Moreover, the U.S. Census Bureau is prohibited by law from releasing any information that identifies individuals, and violations are subject to large fines and possible prison time.

He said although April 1 is known as “Census Day” because the date is used as a key reference date in the census questionnaire, it is not a deadline, and residents can respond after that date, by phone, by mail or online. 

Additional information about the census is available here, and instructions for residents who did not receive a form are available here, under the Frequently Asked Questions section.