Be a part of Census 2020
The U.S. Census Bureau is currently engaged in recruitment efforts to find and train trusted voices within individual communities, including reservations, to make sure everyone understands what is at stake in the 2020 Census and to provide assistance to anyone who needs help fulfilling their census obligations.
As dictated by the U.S. Constitution, a census, or count, of every person living in the United States is required every ten years. A lot can happen in 10 years. Think about where you were just 10 years ago. Were you still in elementary school? Were you just starting a family of your own? Were you contemplating a college education or trade school? Were you thinking about retirement?
Regardless of where you were 10 years ago, chances are the last decade has been a time of significant growth and transition in your personal life. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has seen growth in the general population and Band member enrollment numbers as well. And where there are more people, the need for services increases. Data collected by the census count can be used to greatly increase funding for more services to our community since many funding opportunities are based on number of people.
Join a Complete Count Committee (CCC)
Complete Count Committees are essential to the census. "The local committees are so important to us as Band members because they are made up of real people who know, work, and live in our own communities," said Band member Shelly Diaz, the Urban Liaison for the Chief Executive’s Office and the U.S. Census Liaison for the Mille Lacs Band. "The Complete Count Committees serve as ambassadors to the community, providing awareness and information to their friends, neighbors, other community members, and organizations. We want to make sure that we as Band members are accurately counted, and to do that, we need community members who are informed. People who are informed of the facts are more likely to respond to the census."
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about becoming a Complete Count Committee member can learn more about it at upcoming district community meetings. "We are actively recruiting CCC members right now to help get the word out about the census," Shelly said. "We want to create a localized message from our own community members that will resonate with our communities. We have a lot of fun ideas that we would like to implement and get going on very soon."
The Mille Lacs Band Complete Count Committee is looking for representation from each of the districts made up of Band members and government employees from Administration, Education, Community Development, Natural Resources, and Health and Human Services. These trusted voices will develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign based upon their knowledge of the local community to encourage a response. If you or someone you know would like to join this all-volunteer committee, please contact Shelly at shelly.diaz@ millelacsband.com. There will also be more information available at upcoming district meetings. More details coming soon.
Become a Census Taker
Beginning in March 2020, every address in the country will receive a census questionnaire. Your response will affect the next generation. There are three ways to respond to the census questionnaire: 1) complete it online, 2) call by phone, 3) send it by mail. For those who don’t respond, a census taker from our community will follow up and assist you.
There are opportunities available to Band members who would like to apply to be a census taker. Upon acceptance, this is a paid position with flexible hours that could be days, weekends, or evenings, and will include mileage reimbursement.
To ensure every person in the Mille Lacs Band community is informed and counted, there will be various community events occurring in each District over the course of the next few months. There also will be a census recruitment officer available at various meetings to help any individuals interested in applying to be a census taker and to walk each applicant through the application process.
Applications can also be submitted online by going to https://2020census.gov/jobs. The online application will take about 30 minutes to complete. Once the application is submitted, it will stay on file with the Census Bureau for the entire duration of the 2020 Census. Applicants can go into their account to change their information or check on the application status at any time. The U.S. Census Bureau will reach out to potential workers via telephone and conduct phone interviews beginning in January 2020; job offers will be made verbally and followed up by a confirmation email. Once a job offer is made, the applicant will set up an appointment to have their fingerprints done for the background check. After the background check has cleared, the applicant will be scheduled for a paid training. Employment will begin around April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Workers are paid weekly by the Census Bureau.
There will be Applicant Days held at the Aanjibimaadizing offices in each of the districts. This will provide people interested in applying for a U.S. Census job an opportunity to have a U.S. Census Recruitment Officer available on-site to answer any questions and to walk potential applicants through the application process. Flyers and social media reminders will be posted for dates and times as they become available.
Complete Count Committees
Complete Count Committees (CCC) are volunteer commit- tees established by tribal, state, and local governments and community leaders or organizations to increase awareness and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census. CCCs serve as state and local “census ambassador” groups that play an integral part in ensuring a complete and accurate count of the community in the 2020 Census. Success of the census depends on community involvement at every level. The U.S. Census Bureau cannot conduct the 2020 Census alone.
To serve on the Mille Lacs Band's Complete Count Committee, contact Shelly Diaz at shelly.diaz@mille- lacsband.com or talk to Shelly at upcoming district meetings!
If you'd like to apply for a census job, come to Aanjibimaadizing classrooms December 17 in District I and II and December 18 in District III and at the Urban Office. Watch Facebook for details.
Photo: Shelly Diaz, right, attended the November 20 District III community meeting along with Sarah Priest, Partnership
Specialist with the Census Bureau.