SANTA FE – The New Mexico Statewide Complete Count Commission is celebrating national Census Day today, Wednesday, April 1, with a virtual fiesta to encourage all New Mexicans to participate in the 2020 count without leaving home.
Because of the social distancing requirements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the fiesta will be held on social media, with messages reaching all 33 counties, tribal governments and universities.
The campaign on Facebook and other social media channels will include content showing how to fill out the Census form – online, by phone or by mail – and explaining why it’s important to do so. It also includes badges any New Mexican can add to their own social media profiles to show support for Census 2020.
“We are urging every New Mexicans to participate in the 2020 Census in order to protect resources for all of our communities,” said Olivia Padilla Jackson, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration and chair of New Mexico’s Complete Count Commission. “We are committed to educating every New Mexican about why the 2020 Census is so important and are working every day with Complete Count Committees to ensure they have adequate resources, share best practices, both physical and virtual, and provide toolkits, to empower our partners to accomplish our shared goal of a complete and accurate count.”
For more information or to participate in the fiesta, visit ICountNM on Facebook.
New Mexicans also can sign-up for important census updates and have Census questions answered by texting CENSUS to 505.560.8848 (CENSO for Spanish).
The decennial Census helps determine allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding. Research suggests that each New Mexico resident not counted results in a loss of $3,700 per resident, per year.
The opportunity to respond to the 2020 Census began March 12 and is scheduled to continue until Aug 14.
In rural areas and homes with post office boxes, U.S. Census Bureau workers go door to door delivering an official Census, including a unique ID number, which people can use to complete the Census online or over the phone.
Because of COVID-19, that door-to-door work has been delayed until mid-April, which means nearly 20 percent of New Mexico homes have yet to receive their official Census invitation. Until they do, response rates in New Mexico will be artificially low.