On Census Day, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal Urge Residents to Complete Their 2020 Census Form and Help Seattle Access Much-Needed Federal Resources

Seattle (April 1, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Council President Lorena González, and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda today urged Seattle residents to complete their 2020 Census form and help Seattle access much-needed federal resources. As of March 31, 2020, 42 percent of Seattle residents had completed their Census form, as compared to a nationwide completion rate of 34.7 percent.

From March 12-20, households received the first of several invitations to participate in the 2020 Census. This invitation included a unique ID code that can be used to complete the Census online. Seattle residents can go online today, with or without that code, and fill out their Census form at www.my2020census.gov. The Census form can be completed online, by phone, or by mail. A citizenship question is not included on the 2020 Census form.

Last week, Mayor Durkan sent a letter to the United States Census Bureau requesting that the Bureau extend the 2020 Census deadline from August 14, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The letter to the Census Bureau was co-led by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, and Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose. In total, 40 bipartisan mayors from across the country signed onto the letter calling on the Census Bureau to extend the Census deadline. The Census Bureau has not yet responded to the mayors’ letter.

“All Seattle residents should fill out their Census forms – it will only take a few minutes and is one of the most critical things we can do to ensure Seattle gets the resources we need to help our residents. Seattle has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the last decade, and our 2020 Census count should reflect our new residents,” said Mayor Durkan. “We know that everyone counts, and everyone needs to be counted, which is why we’re working to ensure our residents have the resources and information they need to participate in the 2020 Census. I’m grateful to our local community-based organizations who have been leading this work, even amidst an unprecedented global pandemic like COVID-19.”

“Constituents often ask me what they can do to make a difference in their community — especially now, as we face unprecedented challenges in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Filling out your 2020 Census form is a simple thing you can do that, in minutes, will help shape our collective future. The Census helps inform how billions of dollars worth of health care, education, housing and transportation dollars will be allocated in our region for years to come,”Rep. Jayapal said. “I am so proud that Washington state and the Seattle region already have higher 2020 Census self-response rates than the national average, but we need 100% participation. It takes just a few minutes to complete the Census survey online, by phone, or by mail, and it will never ask you for your citizenship, immigration status or social security number. This is an opportunity for civic participation that only comes around once every ten years—please don’t miss it!”

“Access to health care, housing, nutrition and other safety net programs is more important than ever. That’s why every Seattleite, regardless of status, must fill out the Census, so our City can get its fair share of federal dollars. An accurate count would ensure future resources so our public health, transportation and education systems can remain strong,” said Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide).

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the inequities Americans face on a daily basis, particularly felt by women, people of color, older Americans, immigrants, the LGBTQIA community, and low-income workers. These are the very communities that are historically undercounted in our nation’s Census, leaving them at a disadvantage for much needed federal resources for our schools, housing, parks and roads. I know Seattle’s working families and individuals are facing unimaginable health and economic impacts as we battle this public health crisis, but I encourage all Seattle households to take a few moments to fill out the Census. What only takes minutes to complete, could impact Seattle for generations,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), and co-chair of the Seattle Census Task Force.

The U.S. Census only happens once every 10 years, and the consequences of having an incomplete count are not just statistical: Residents’ lives could be significantly impacted for an entire decade. A complete Census count would ensure Seattle receives its fair share of federal resources, as significant funding is at stake for other federal programs that Seattle families and communities rely on, including Head Start, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicare and Medicaid.

The City has undertaken the following efforts to prepare for the 2020 Census:

  • Creating the Seattle Census Task Force to advise on City policy and outreach to historically undercounted communities;
  • Launching the first-ever Regional Census Fund with Seattle Foundation and King County to distribute $1.5 million to community-based organizations serving as trusted Census messengers;
  • Fighting the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant attempt to include a citizenship question on the Census;
  • Investing $150,000 in local ethnic-media outlets in partnership with the State of Washington to help reach out and build trust in community;
  • Continuing to work with community-based organizations and City departments to ensure people have all the information they need to fill out the Census; and
  • Activating the City’s Community Liaisons to provide a specific and targeted Census digital outreach strategy.

For more information on the City of Seattle’s efforts to ensure a complete, safe, and accurate 2020 Census count, visit www.seattlecensus.org. To fill out your 2020 Census form, visit my2020Census.gov.