Elected officials, fire chiefs from regional fire departments, Census representatives and business owners stressed the importance of wearing masks to protect against spreading COVID-19. The group gathered to share the important public safety message before the July 4th holiday and announced the donation of 3,000 masks by the Southern Nevada Complete Count Committee to businesses in traditionally hard-to-count Census neighborhoods covering Downtown Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Historic West Las Vegas. Following remarks, masks were delivered to several of these businesses for their employees.
During the event at the La Bonita Supermarket in North Las Vegas, participants also reminded the public about the importance of being counted – including children, seniors and temporary residents – in the 2020 Census. Billions of dollars in federal funds are at stake for the community. Without an accurate count, funding for critical infrastructure, public safety programs, social services, transportation and schools in Clark County and Nevada will be allocated to other states.
“Even as we are battling the Coronavirus pandemic, which has hit minority communities particularly hard, it is important that we continue to do everything we can to encourage all of our residents to fill out the Census,” said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly. “I am thrilled that local business owners are stepping up to find ways to let their employees and customers know how important this effort is, for the future of our children, our neighborhoods and our state.”
“Historically, data has shown that minority communities are always undercounted,” said North Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Isaac Barron. “The amount of federal money available for communities is not going to change, but what can change is whether or not communities that are undercounted will get their fair share. That is why it is critical that every single person in Nevada fills out their Census to ensure we receive the federal funds that we depend on to help our communities move forward.”
In addition to Commissioner Weekly and Mayor Pro Tem Barron, program participants included: North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes Brown, Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, Henderson Fire Chief Shawn White, Las Vegas Fire Chief William McDonald, and North Las Vegas Fire Chief Joseph Calhoun.
The first donation of masks went to La Bonita Supermarkets for its 500 employees at seven area stores.
Initial mask deliveries to critical Census count area businesses included: Expertise, Las Islitas, La Mojarra Loca, Let’s Fry This, Mario’s Westside Market, Pearson Community Center, Tortillas Inc., Unfadable Masters Barbershop, and Urban Chamber of Commerce. Distribution of the donated Southern Nevada Complete Count Committee masks will continue through July while supplies last.
Census representatives were available to answer questions and help people complete their Census at the event site, along with fire trucks as a public safety reminder to complement the message about the importance of the Census for essential public programs and the need to wear masks.
There is still time to complete the Census online and by phone in Spanish, English, and other languages through October. Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded on August 11. The Census is done every 10 years; there are only 10 questions, and it takes about 10 minutes to complete. For more information, visit www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com.
ABOUT CENSUS 2020
Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. Critical data is collected to allocate billions of dollars in federal funding for hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, social services and other resources. Census results also are used to determine the number of seats each state receives in Congress and political representation at all levels of government. Nevada currently has four congressional representatives and is on the brink of being awarded its fifth.
Without maximum Census participation, Nevada stands to lose more than $6 billion in federal funds per year – for the next 10 years – with the lost dollars allocated to other states. This funding supports vital programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as dozens of programs benefiting schools, highways and health systems. Additionally, many civic and social programs depend on Census funding allocations. A list of 55 of the largest Census-funded programs is here: https://www.southernnevadacounts.com/impact-nv
Consider, the federal government recently gave Nevada funds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic based on 2010 Census data, when only 60 percent of people in the state participated. With a 100 percent count, Nevada would have received 40 percent more money to help Clark County and the rest of the state with services to combat the virus.
For more information, visit www.SouthernNevadaCounts.com.
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