Right before the madness of COVID-19 began closing in on Albuquerque, I vaguely remember receiving a Census form in the mail. I read through the prompt, placed it prominently on my desk–a little shocked that it’s already been 10 years since the last time I did this—filled with hope for the decade ahead. A few days later, my desk papers had already begun to stack up, but I could still see that blue form peeking out, reminding me to do this most basic of duties. What could possibly happen to distract me?
Well folks, it’s about to be April (that’s an N*Sync song, right?), and I feel like a different person than when I received this form a few short weeks ago. Honestly, they should’ve taken a separate Census before and after the pandemic, because I’ve aged at least 10 years since early March. Always the thoughtful mayor, Tim Keller has reached out via press release to remind us of just how imperative it is that each and every member of the public living in Albuquerque is counted in the Census.
Thankfully, the Census Bureau is just as frazzled as the rest of us, and they’ve temporarily suspended their own operations to protect employees from disease spread. This translates down the line to an extended personal response deadline of Aug. 14, 2020. That’s almost too much extra time for me; such is the life of a chronic procrastinator.
Blue mailers are still showing up to my house, however, covered in bolded font, telling me that, if I do not respond, a Census Bureau worker will be sent out in person to collect my information from me. At this point in time, it seems almost cruel to make someone brave peril and disease just to ask me how many people live in my house.
Beyond basic common decency, there’s a serious reason we all need to make sure we respond to the 2020 Census. These numbers determine all kinds of funding and programs allotted throughout the next decade, and Albuquerque needs whatever help it can get. Our economy was lagging before the massive impact of COVID-19, and I shudder to think what it will be like once this is all over.
You can respond to the Census online at my2020census.gov on any device connected to the internet or over the phone—(844)-330-2020 for English—from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST. It takes less than 10 minutes, so don’t wait until Aug. 14th. Mix a cocktail, turn on Tiger King, fill out the survey, and take a drink every time someone says Carole Baskin’s full name.