To the Editor:

In the United States Constitution, the nation's founding fathers formed a Census to be conducted every 10 years with the objective to count every person once and only once. Counting every person comes with great challenges, and the state of Connecticut has been working with a Complete Count Committee of which I have been involved to ensure we are counting every single person.

We have come a long way from the first Census in 1790. This year, the Census is available by phone, online and through the traditional paper survey. The Census continues to drive some of the most important aspects of your daily life: where schools, senior centers, hospitals and road are built, and where businesses are looking to grow based on demographics. Further, all federal programs allocate funding based on Census figures. Connecticut receives $10.7 billion in federal funds, which amounts to about $2,900 per person in Connecticut. These programs include Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, Federal Student Loans, Housing Vouchers, Special Education Grants, Community Grants, and other vital programs. Without these federal funds, the burden would fall even greater on state and local budgets.

Beyond the funding, your own representation is also at stake. The Census determines federal and state district lines for your political representation, so be sure to be counted in the Census.

The Census is only nine questions and only one questionnaire needs to be filled out per household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics. In fact, Census Bureau workers take a lifetime oath of non-disclosure that protects your answers.

Every time a Census happens, there are unfortunate scams. Remember that the U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, money, donations, bank or credit card numbers.

Every house and apartment will be mailed a letter with instructions for filling out the census online. If you fill out the online form, you're all set. By April, you will be sent a reminder letter. By May, you will be mailed a notice that a Census worker will visit your home. With the spread of COVID-19, submitting your Census online has never been safer. At any time, you can fill out the online form on any computer or mobile device. Please visit census.gov for more information.

Remember to be counted.

Jimmy Tickey

Shelton