Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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News: 09/15/2020

Postal Service rules sideline some local Census survey deliveries

Still time to be counted

Some people have not received their 2020Census materials to fill out, in spite of seven separate mailings and an immense ad blitz in multiple languages to capture as many residents of the United States as possible in this decennial head count. A change in USPS policy that affected P.O. Box holders in Kenwood, sidelined delivery some of the Census forms addressed to residential addresses.

For decades, there was no mail delivery in Kenwood village; residents had to use P.O. Boxes, which were offered for free. That policy changed last year – no more free boxes. You could either pay for your P.O. Box, or switch to mail delivery at home. But to do that you had to install a proper mailbox and notify the Post Office, which added the new village mail boxes to its existing Route 1 (of two rural route deliveries).

2020Census forms, however, are addressed to specific residential addresses and cannot be delivered to post office boxes, according to the USPS. Forms sent to street addresses that don’t have a mail box and don’t receive mail (because the resident is still using their P.O. Box) have been returned as undeliverable all summer.

But if you haven’t participated yet, it is not too late.

“The last day to respond to the census through all three self-response methods – online (, phone (844-330-2020), and paper questionnaire – is Sept. 30,” according to Josh Green of the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office. Phone calls can be handled in 12 different languages.

The Census Bureau will process all paper questionnaires postmarked by Sept. 30 and received at the Paper Data Capture facilities no later than Oct. 7.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census every 10 years. It is in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2 mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th count since 1790. Everyone has to respond; it is required by law.

“The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community,” according to the Census Bureau’s website. “Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.”

The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives depends on the Census data gathered.

The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone living in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and inform how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.

An attempt by the current administration to curtail in-person counting and wrap up the final count early was successfully challenged by the National Urban League (and nearly a dozen others) in the Northern District of California Federal Court, which issued a temporary restraining order on Sept. 5. The matter will get a full hearing on Sept. 17. The court may allow counting to continue through the end of October.


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