By U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen
As your U.S. Senators, we are doing everything we can to protect the health of Nevadans in the face of the coronavirus public health emergency. We must all do our part to protect our communities by practicing social distancing and maintaining high standards of hygiene. But there is another thing you can do to help our state: participate in the census.
As you already know, the census is conducted every 10 years and the results not only determine the size of our state and federal legislature, but also the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds for schools, hospitals, highways and other essential services. In 2015 alone, the federal government used 2010 Census data to funnel $675 billion to states through dozens of federal programs. This includes programs that will help us prepare for a public health threat like the one we are experiencing.
Each person counted in the census will help Nevada receive federal funds for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other government programs critical to public health preparedness.
State officials estimate that Nevada could lose nearly $ 170 million in federal funding for health care and child welfare programs over the next decade if only 1 percent of Nevadans do not participate in the 2020 census.
It is truly important to participate in the 2020 census because if we are not counted, it is as if we did not exist and that would have grave consequences for our communities, our schools and our families.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we want Nevadans to know that they can participate in the census online, by phone, or by mail. That is why we urge all of our Hispanic communities in Nevada to participate remotely in the 2020 census as soon as possible.
We want all Nevadans, especially our Hispanic and immigrant communities, to know that in the Senate we have worked to ensure that the information provided by families and individuals to the census is safe and will not be used against you.
It is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that our Hispanic communities are accurately counted in the 2020 Census and that our state receives the necessary funds to protect our health. For more information, or to participate in the 2020 Census online, visit the website: 2020Census.gov.