To the editor,

This summer is flying by! I’m sure that for many of us, it seems that time is standing still with our focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the new and inconvenient protocols it’s brought into our lives. However, we are actually halfway through summer – and halfway to the deadline for submitting our census surveys.

As of July 23, four in 10 Oswego County residents have still not submitted their census forms yet.

As Chairman of our County Legislature, this is alarming to me because it affects the amount of federal funding our county receives for the next 10 years!

U.S. Census responses are critical to many of the services that county residents rely on, such as health clinics, Medicare and Medicaid. The data also affects Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), school meals and housing assistance; as well as financial aid for college students and community development block grants. It impacts fire departments, disaster response plans, public transportation and new construction or repairs to highways and infrastructure.

More than $675 billion in federal funding will be distributed to states and communities based on census data. With parts of our population at risk of being undercounted, this could affect the very programs and services that our friends and neighbors rely on.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to participate in the census. The process is quick and easy, safe and secure. Your information is kept confidential and your privacy is protected.

There are several convenient ways to respond. You can go online to www.my2020census.gov. Or, you can respond by phone at 1-844-330-2020 in English, or 1-844-468-2020 in Spanish. You can also return your form in the mail.

The survey has about 10 questions. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. But it affects us for the next 10 years.

Please do your part to make sure that Oswego County receives its share of funding by returning your census form. It’s not too late for everyone to be counted.

For more information about the 2020 U.S. Census, go to www.2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020.

Sincerely,

Jim Weatherup

Chairman

Oswego County Legislature

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