The 2020 Census is here and it’s time to stand up and be counted.


Not even COVID-19 can deter efforts to get an accurate count because it is easier to respond on your own since you can respond online, by phone, or by mail. Plus, the Census Bureau is closely monitoring COVID-19 and the health, safety, and well-being of 2020 Census takers.

Census data is vital because it determines how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years.

Did you know that Wisconsin receives over $12 billion every year based on census data? We could lose $1,600 per year for each person missed in the 2020 Census.

Wisconsin tribes can learn from the 1,000 member Pala Band of Mission Indians in northern San Diego County. The Pala Tribe, along with other tribes out west, have formed their own Complete Count Committee (CCC) to ensure all tribal members are counted.

The CCC conducts outreach during scheduled annual events on the reservation. The Pala Tribe, as it has in the past 29 years, has hired tribal members to do the 2020 Census count.

“I am a firm believer because I’ve been through it so many times that you have to hire your own people to get the count,” said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Tribe for the last 29 years.

In Wisconsin and particularly in Milwaukee, we will have ample opportunity and must commit to doing our part during the 2020 Census. The first step is to look in your mail for invitations to participate from now through March 20.

The next key dates are:


  • March 30 – April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.


  • April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.



  • May – July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.


  • December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

“I am a firm believer because I’ve been through it so many times that you have to hire your own people to get the count”

Robert Smith

Chairman, Pala Tribe

If you have any questions about the 2020 Census, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-763-3030 or For more information on coronavirus, please visit: or go to

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