On August 12, the United States Census Bureau announced that their employees would be walking through neighborhoods in cities across the country to confirm home addresses.
This activity, called “Neighborhood Address Canvassing,” officially takes place from August 4 to October 18, 2019. Census employees will knock on doors and ask a few short questions to verify the address and any additional living spaces on the property for inclusion in the 2020 Census.
“This will help the Census Bureau achieve our goal of counting everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” according to Zack Schwartz with the U.S. Census Bureau.
The City of Seattle recognizes that in this climate of anti-immigrant fear engendered by the Trump administration, many residents may be reluctant to open their doors to someone identified with the federal government. According to the Census Bureau, canvassers will always have an official Census Bureau badge with a photo ID (see right), an official Census-branded bag, and an official Census 2020 laptop. We encourage you to explore the below video which includes examples of Census Bureau official branding.
Canvassers will at all times introduce themselves as a Census Bureau employee, show their official government ID badge, and explain the purpose of the visit. You may also ask the employee for a picture ID from another source (e.g., their driver’s license) to confirm their identity.
You do not need to open your door to these employees. You can ask for them to first show you their badge and Census-branded gear through a window. You can also ask for them to more fully explain the reason for their visit. You may also open the door, close it behind you, and talk to them outside. You should only open your door if you feel fully comfortable doing so.
If someone in your neighborhood is claiming they are a Census employee, but do not have an ID badge, a Census 2020-branded bag or laptop, you do not have to talk to them or open your door for them. You can report them to the Seattle Police Department non-emergency line: (206) 625-5011.
If you have questions or would like to confirm Neighborhood Canvasser Employment, you can call the Regional Census Center at (213) 314-6500 or go to www.2020census.gov/contact-us/rcc.
A complete and accurate Census count is extremely important. Census data determines Congressional and local representation and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed to communities. But, we also want you to feel safe. Know your rights, and be counted!