Making sense out of the census

2020 Census Renton needs your participation

  • Monday, October 7, 2019 1:31pm
  • Opinion

By Preeti Shridhar

City of Renton

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau is charged with counting each person living in our country. These results are used to help determine where billions of dollars in federal funding will be allocated, including important items like schools, roads, medical facilities, childcare and senior centers. For these reasons your participation in the 2020 Census is crucial. It is your chance to be heard.

In 2020 it will be easier than ever for you to participate in the Census. On April 1, each U.S. household will receive an invitation from the Census Bureau to take part via a secure website, mail or phone. I want to assure you that all responses to Census Bureau surveys and censuses are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S code. Under this law, the Census Bureau is required to keep response information confidential; they cannot share a person’s personal information with immigration enforcement agencies (e.g. ICE), federal law enforcement agencies (e.g. FBI), or the local police. Census information is presented in aggregated statistical format only. Since 2000, the City of Renton’s population has grown significantly and our demographics have changed as a result of communities of color growing over 200 percent.

It is more crucial now than ever that we continue fostering an inclusive culture and provide valuable resources for our community. During the last Census in 2010, Renton had one of the lowest participation rates in King County. Only 60 percent of our community participated.

Without full participation, the City of Renton will not receive adequate funding for vital community services. Our goal is to have a complete count in 2020, but with our evolving demographics, we are a community at risk of being undercounted. To help get an accurate and complete count, the city council recently authorized us to hire a Census Program Manager who will work with members of our community to provide extensive community outreach and education about the Census. The Census Program Manager will also work closely with members of the Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force and other key community stakeholders to make sure that everyone in Renton is represented.

If you are interested in this position, we encourage you to visit to apply. The position is limited-term, expected to run from November 2019 to September 2020.

For more information on the upcoming 2020 Census, please visit

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