If you haven’t noticed yet, Census 2020 is coming. And a Hopkins County committee plans to remind you by any means necessary.
The Complete Count Committee met Friday in downtown Madisonville to discuss a wide range of promotional projects. For instance, how about a census basketball game?
“Instead of playing H-O-R-S-E, they could play C-E-N-S-U-S,” committee chair Kim Ezell said. One idea would have local mayors and Judge Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. play during a halftime of the upcoming district high school basketball tournament at Madisonville North Hopkins.
A proclamation issued by mayors across Hopkins County promises “events and activities” from Monday, March 30 until Census Day on Wednesday, April 1. But a Census Bureau employee at Friday’s meeting made it clear that some promotions will start earlier.
“The first week of March is Statistics in Schools Week,” said La Dawn Hale of Murray. It’s a Census-inspired educational program for grades K-12. As part of that, letters will be sent home to parents reminding them of Census 2020.
The timing of that week is not accidental. Hale said households across the U.S. will receive Census letters beginning Thursday, March 12. A website for completing the census also will go live that day.
“It would be half-and-half,” committee member Cynthia Young said. Half the residents will receive one-page “invitations” to fill out Census forms by web or phone, while the other half will receive a more detailed survey.
Hale assured the committee that potentially incriminating data collected by the census will be kept confidential.
“No reports will be turned over to law enforcement,” Hale said. “We’re nonpartisan.”
Doubts developed about that when the Trump administration suggested including a question on the Census form about U.S. citizenship. That will not be part of this year’s survey.
Hale also said 27 people in Hopkins County have been hired so far to work with the census. More could be added. The website 2020Census.gov has details about applying.
The committee discussed other events being planned for the week of Census Day:
• Dawson Springs is organizing a parade on March 30 at Veterans Park. People who can verify they’ve completed the census could receive a coupon for free food.
• Earlington and Hanson will open their city halls for people who need access to computers.
• Madisonville city employees will put reminder hangers on people’s doors.
• Madisonville Community College will open a computer lab for public use.
• Nortonville may offer extended public library hours.