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Town Hall Seeks To Answer Summit County Residents' Questions About 2020 Census

A blue and red logo that says "Summit County Census 2020" with a check mark next to it

The once-per-decade effort to count every person living in the United States starts this year. An upcoming eventaims to inform Summit County residents about the 2020 census.

Households will be able to participate in the 2020 census starting in March, and they’ll have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. But filling out the census can be a tough sell to many people. In 2010, only 55% of Summit Countyhouseholds were counted. The census affects federal funding for education, emergency services and health care, as well as impacting political redistricting, where lawmakers redraw voting district boundaries based on population.

Diego Romo, a reporter with Park City Television, is an organizer for Monday’s 2020 census town hall. He says many people have questions about how their data from the census is used and where funding from the census goes, but the main question people have is simple.

“What is the census? That's really the first question that we get a lot of the time," Romo said. "What is it, why do we do it, and so we want to provide just a basic background of what the census is used for, its purpose.”

Romo says anyone will benefit from learning more about the census and encourages any Summit County resident to attend the town hall. Specifically, though, he hopes community members that the census has historically missed, such as immigrants, students, renters and rural residents, show up.

“Obviously, it's open to the whole community, but we want to put an extra focus on those communities that are hard to count and hard to get to,” Romo said.

By learning more about the census and having their questions answered, Romo says he wants Summit County residents to feel empowered to participate.

“Park City is such an engaged community, and I love that about all of the citizens and constituents up here," Romo said. "I just want people to walk away feeling like they have a little bit of say in the future of this community.”

The Summit County Census 2020 Town Hall is Monday, Jan. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Christian Center of Park City. A free dinner will be provided. The town hall will feature a short presentation in both Spanish and English, then time for questions.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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