City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 19 - It's Census Time! This is Important!

July 11, 2020 City of Plantation Episode 19
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 19 - It's Census Time! This is Important!
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the City of Plantation Podcast. In this episode, we sit down with our Mayor, Lynn Stoner, and Loretta Kenna member of the City's Census Committee. We cannot stress enough the importance that the census plays in earmarking monies for municipal programs and initiatives. In this discussion, we speak about the census process, address common concerns, and provide examples of what type of programs are in-part funded by federal and state monies distributed, based on population. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes weekly.

Guests: Mayor Lynn Stoner, Lauretta Kenna
Hosts: BC Blanchard and DC Lubow
Producer: Ezra Lubow
Music: Oakwood Station
Graphics: The City of Plantation

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up to date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talk directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers who make plantation the great city that it is welcome to the latest episode of the city of plantation podcast today, as you and I will be discussing the census. We have the pleasure of having mayor Lyn , stoner joining us, and also Loretta Kenna . And she's a member of the city census committee. So welcome to both of you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you. Um, you know, when we , um, I guess about a year ago , uh, we were, we formally put together a census committee. It was important that , uh, we have some , um, resident participation and how we wanted to get the message out. Uh, and so they've met on a regular basis , um, to try to get that message out. Um, I was fortunate enough to attend the U S mayors conference in Washington, D C in January, and they had , uh , a little table, but , um, I got to bring back quite a few things, which they don't ordinarily provide. Uh, so every city is on their own, out of funded or budgeted and get the word out. We've done. Okay. On our participation and responses. I know myself initially , uh, I recalled , uh, participating in the , uh, last census. It was very in depth. I thought it was personally invasive. And as a result, I didn't fill it out, mail it back in. They actually did come to my door and knocked on the door and said, you need to answer this that's the law. And they're absolutely right. And, and , uh, in a second, I'll have a Loretta who's an accomplished attorney in the city of plantation, but , um , in her participation on that board was as important as anybody else's so that we could get there. But , um, you know, I did eventually do it in front of , in front of it , to him, but , um, so I was concerned with this one and when I saw the questions on this one, I was like, wow, what a piece of cake for something that's so important to our lives. So , um, Loretta tell us how you all formulated the , uh , committee and, and, and how you proceeded down that path. Uh, thank you, mayor. I had the pleasure of joining the committee a little bit after it started, but , um, the committee was formed and Nancy with the city

Speaker 3:

Was in charge of the committee and they subdivided themselves into sub committees dealing with various aspects, whether it was through the school system , um, through businesses, through religious groups, through community groups. So there were these subsets and each of the subsets attempted to come up with a plan on how to reach that particular segment of the community. Um, I was in the segment that dealt with business and also community groups and government , uh, I've went further and took the training from the us census Bureau to become a certified speaker for the city and the regard to the census. And toward that end, I had the pleasure pre COVID of attending a lot of this city events, like the doggy Palooza and the other

Speaker 2:

For an event tied up city hall. I know I saw you there.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. I mean , all these wonderful events that our city parks and rec department put on, right. And they gave us a booth and we were able to speak to the people that showed up , um , and explained to them basically what we're going to talk about today, how simple it is to fill out how important it is to fill out the various ways you can fill it out. And I think we had great responses from the people we interacted with. Unfortunately, then the COVID hit and that stopped most of our efforts. And we had to then resort to figuring out alternative methods. And that's become very problematic because we spend all of our time and all of our strategic planning on in person events, all of a sudden all those are canceled. So we've tried social media, we've had limited success. We've tried reaching out to different entities that have their own social media presence to see if they would kind of piggyback the message that hasn't fared very well. Right? So now we're hoping this will help us. Uh, and the last way is just word of mouth. I mean, I probably sound like a broken record to my friends. Uh, even business associates suggesting, have you completed your sentences ? If it not, it's really easy, please do it. It's so important regardless of where you live, please do it. So that's what we've done through the group. And I guess this is our last effort, and we're really hoping that this will help us greatly because we've only made about two thirds of the goal we need to make.

Speaker 2:

So when you say a goal, let me, let me make sure I understand. So technically we're trying to be counted so that the federal government understands how many people live in a specific area, whether it's a city, a town, or however you label your area. And then who determines how much money per person is distributed to those

Speaker 3:

Well, you're absolutely correct. That basically the goal is to find out who you, where you live and the attempt is to account everybody. As I like to say, count every nose . And it's regardless of your immigration status where you were born, if you are living in the United States as of April, the first 2020, you are to be counted, whether you are one day old or 100 and something years old, right? So it's every knows . As far as the funding, there are different projections. Uh, the two numbers that seem to be bandied about by the people in the know we're talking about somewhere between 700 billion with a B and one point 5 trillion with a T dollars per year in federal funding that these numbers determine , wow, that's huge. I mean, I'm not sure I can write one point 5 trillion in longhand having to make sure I get all the zeros right now that is not equally divided based on the number of noses, the number of persons. It is a very complicated formula and expands a range from federal government money, state, government, money, County, government money, and private even grants, all use what we call the decennial census numbers. And that is the official count done once every 10 years mandated by the United States constitution to determine how many people are living in the United States. So I don't want anybody to think, well, it's okay if I forget this year, because I'm coming back, I'll do it next year, right ? There is no next year, the next time this will happen is 2030. So whatever the ultimate count that we get in the city of plantation we live for for 10 years, just as an example, in 2010 plantation only counted 70.5% of its population. So I like to say we left 30% of the money that we are legally entitled to through a myriad of programs on the table,

Speaker 4:

On a table. And so my question for you mayor, and for you, Loretta, is it's important for our listeners to understand the impact of that, right? Cause we're talking dollars and maybe some people don't understand what that turns into, but what, what do those dollars equal mayor Loretta? I mean, does it, do we, are we talking about school and education? Are we talking about hospital services? Are we talking about law enforcement and fire rescue service? I mean, how does that impact us at the practical level? Not just the dollar level.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's interesting. This pandemic has sort of , uh , brought some of those numbers closer to us than we have previously because we haven't encountered anything like this. So as Loretta indicates, 30% of what we were entitled to was left on the table and we all, all of us could have used that additional 30%. So even as they're figuring out this cares act and what is coming down, each city knows what we want, but we haven't gotten anything. And we don't know how they're calculating it based on anything. So right now we're, we're sort of there. So it , 10 year period of having , uh , only 70%, which is, you know, I'll take it, but what could I have done for the community with that additional 30%, our city like others through the recession have struggled to do capital projects, infrastructure, our first responders, which we always put at the top of the list. And Holy moly, that would have been a huge , uh , shot in the arm. Um, you know, I look at it as on a pragmatic level. Again, what could we have done for the community with the additional dollars? You may have some more , um, finite numbers Loretta. I had, well first let me say that these funds cover a huge spectrum. And just to give you an idea, they fund neighborhood improvements. They fund public health, they fund Medicaid, they fund education, they fund housing, they fund transportation, they fund student loans. They fund highway construction projects. They fund low income tax credits. They fund low income loans. They even fund adoption assistance programs. And that's just at a federal state County funding level. Then you talk about private grants. I mean, I remember very, very long time ago when my brother was in college, he was under a government grant to get his doctorate degree without the proper numbers counts , the money doesn't come to where it's, it belongs to follow up on the mayor's point when she uses the term it's that money's on the table. Well, unfortunately it's not on the table. We can't come back for it. Right . Because what happens is somebody else gets it. Whether it's another city in Broward , um , another County, somewhere else in the state of Florida, somewhere else in the entire United States. So that money isn't sitting in a bowl in the center of the table, waiting for us to come back and take our share, like, you know, seconds at dinner or something. Right. We lose it completely. And not only we lose it this year, we lose it for the next 10 years. Right ? So that 30% just became 300%. And what could this administration who has been so wonderful and responsive to all of our needs, including the first responders, including our parks and rec. Every department has given such great efforts all the time, but especially during COVID, what could they have done with that extra 30% a year or 300%? Right . And forgive me as a taxpayer , there might even have been a little rainbow for me with a tax reduction at some point a Doug dream then , well, what can I say? You know, I've been a dreamer my whole life. I'm not changing now that dreams done ,

Speaker 4:

But I think you both make very good points, which is most of us right now, especially , uh , our minds are filled with a whole lot of other things. And no, one's really thinking about the census. I mean, you look online and there's a big public information campaign about the census, but I think that's because people don't really understand what's at stake. They really, they hear a dollar value, but we hear that all the time from the federal government, but they don't understand how that trickles down into very important programs and systems for just the average resident of our city and how it benefits them. And , and I think that's the bigger point. And me, I look at things a little bit differently and I think right now it's, COVID , uh, you know, we're not going out to movies or restaurants too much. We got a lot of free time on our hands to, to sit down for 10, 15 minutes maximum to do this census, to be counted for something that's going to benefit us for the next 10 years, seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do.

Speaker 3:

I agree. And beyond that, Ezra, it's not even 15 minutes. The average estimate is between five and 10 minutes and you have three ways to do it. Something we've never had at all since the census started back in 1792.

Speaker 4:

So what are those three ways?

Speaker 3:

I haven't salivating for that. As you know, for the first time in history, we can do it online. And the three ways that we can do it. First one is online. Go to my 2020 that's two zero two zero census.gov. And don't worry if you didn't save that 12 digit code that came in the mailer back in March, you don't need it. You just put in your address and you're good to go. You completed online and you're done awesome. Second way again, very easy. If you don't like computers, you don't have a computer. You got mad during the COVID and through your iPad against the wall. As long as you have a working phone, I don't care if it's a cell phone, a landline. If it's a VoIP , doesn't matter. As long as it's a functional phone, you know, tin cans and a string, aren't going to work. But as long as it's a good phone, you call an 800 number and I'll, I can give you a couple of them for an English. It's +1 844-330-2020. That's for English, for Spanish, one eight four four four six, eight 2020 in Creole, one eight four four four seven, seven 2020. Those are the three main numbers, but the census Bureau has people at the other end of the phone who speak 80 different languages.

Speaker 5:

Awesome. So we cover a huge

Speaker 3:

Beyond that. If you're not comfortable in conversing in one of those 80, tell them what language you need and they will take your number and call you back with an interpreter in that language. I mean , I believe they set up to 115 different languages. They can accommodate. Now. It won't be immediate. 80 is immediate. The additional ones will be a call back, but it's within a short period within a day or two.

Speaker 5:

Okay . So you said , uh, the avoid

Speaker 3:

That a different language? No,

Speaker 5:

That's us . Sometimes it can be,

Speaker 3:

That's just getting your phone through your internet provider. See what I know that that's just stands for voiceover internet provider. Like if you had Comcast that's avoid phone, that's the second way. And then the last way is the one, those of us that are a little older than 10 or 15 years of age, that's the mail . And you should have already gotten it in the mail already. And you can fill that out by the mail. Now, if all of that fails and like the mayor has said 10 years ago, she didn't do whatever methods were available at that time. Then you can go forward with having someone from the census Bureau contact you. And that will be initially, someone will call you that is presuming. They can find a phone number for you. As we all know, 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago, every home traditionally had a land line . And those were much easier to find today with everybody giving up landlines, even giving up voice and going strictly to cell phones, it's much harder to find, but if they can find a number, they will call you in an attempt to contact you, to get you to complete the census. In addition, if that doesn't work, either because they can't find a phone number for you or you don't answer, and don't be afraid if your phone shows you a census Bureau, don't be afraid to talk to them. And I'll explain more in a minute about that. But then eventually they will send out what we call a numerators . That just means a census worker will come out to your house. Like the mayor talked about and help you complete the census . And this time, instead of what the mayor talked about 10 years ago, where they brought you the piece of paper and you filled it out, why they were standing there. And if you had questions, they would answer the questions for you, not what your answers would be. But if you didn't understand the question , um, this time they have iPads. So they will literally read you the question and then tap the answer on the iPads for you. So that takes away your work. Now, when I talked about the census calling, because we're all concerned about safety and about scams and about fraud, what if you've already filled out your census form? They did ask for your phone number in a moment, we'll go through the census questions, but they asked for your phone number for one purpose. And one purpose only if there was either incomplete information in your applique , your questionnaire, or if there was conflicting information in your questionnaire, then they would call you merely to clarify, okay, that is it. They will never ask for your social security number, your bank, pass codes, any password login information to any other website. They will never ask that if someone calls claiming to be with the census Bureau and ask for any of that, my personal suggestion is hang up immediately, right ? If someone calls claiming to be from the census Bureau, wanting to follow up on what you've already filed, or because you haven't filed and you don't feel comfortable, I would suggest you hang up, look up the phone number. If you didn't write it down from listening to this podcast, go online, you can look it up and you call directly that way. You know who you're calling, and then you can feel comfortable completing the information. I would never ask anybody to complete something they were uncomfortable with.

Speaker 4:

And just to circle back real quick to something that you mentioned about the people coming to the house, and I'm sure there are a lot of people who are concerned about face to face experiences. So what measures are being taken by those individuals who may come to your house?

Speaker 3:

Well, right now they're down here in Southeast Florida, there was currently no plan to send out a numerators yet. It is a , uh , an influx situation based upon the COVID numbers. Um, eventually when they come out, they will have proper laminated identification with photographs so they can show you that so that you're comfortable even opening your doors. I know a lot of us have ring doorbells. We don't even open them unless we're comfortable on who's the other side for safety purposes. But right now they haven't even started doing the in person. They continue to extend it out because of COVID. So right now there's no timetable that I can share with anyone because it hasn't been decided because as we all know, Covance in a flux sure.

Speaker 4:

Is it safe to assume? No . Uh, if we get to a point where they are hitting the streets, per se , uh, and COVID still a factor, even if it's reduced that there'll be wearing masks and maintaining social distancing and all that,

Speaker 3:

I think that's a fair assumption. I've not seen or heard anything. The one thing that they did tell us at our training was they will not enter your home, do not be offended. Okay ? Even this was pre COVID the training sessions. If you, they come to your door and you say, please step inside. They will not. They've been taught to stay outside for their safety, as well as yours. Like I said , they also have the iPads. So there will be no personal contact required because they're not handing you paper and a pen and saying, please fill this out. They'll be asking you a question and then tapping their iPads. Perfect . So we have a built in distance from our technology already. Right? So Larry , let me ask you a question, because I think that maybe some people are a little bit confused as to exactly who has to respond. Is it like address? Maybe you can clarify per address per person who has to respond. Okay . The whole purpose, as I said before, is we want to count every person living in the United States, the way that it has been structured for as long as I've been alive. And before that is it's by address. And it doesn't matter if your home is a private house, a duplex, a triplex, and apartment, a condominium, a mobile home, your home, if it has an address should be counted. So it's one per address. So if you have 12 people living in the house, it's 12 people you're using the 12 people in this one address. Okay. Absolutely. Okay. I know that there's concern about immigration status. Like some people are concerned with the questions of what's being asked of them. They're they're afraid to answer. So like, what are the S what is the census questionnaire comprised of? I know you had said , said that you were, you had the sample of it. Maybe you can give people, quell their nerves. So that actually respond not to be fearful. Absolutely. This is , as we've talked about, this is the simplest, the most streamlined version we have ever had in the history of the census. And basically you start with what they call the first person, the one who's going to take the responsibility of completing it, whether it's completing online by phone, by mail, whatever. And that they suggest is the person who pays the mortgage or pays the rent. So in your traditional family model, and I know it's changed as the years go by, but if it's a mother, father, and two children, it's gonna either be the mother or the father will be what's deemed the first person, the one to take responsibility for completing the form. No dogs. No, unfortunately they don't care about it.

Speaker 6:

The dog

Speaker 3:

May , I , I don't agree, but nobody asked for my opinion on that one . Um, and also you don't have to worry about getting the instructions from me or the document itself, whether it's online or by even my phone, they'll read you the instructions. And they're very simple. And so they tell you before you complete it, you know, basically think about who lives in your family and gather some simple information beforehand. It makes your life a little easier because maybe you don't know everybody's date of birth by memory. Most people do. But if you don't, you gather that beforehand, it makes it a little faster to complete. Sure . So then we go to the first person and the first question that they ask you are, how many people are living or staying in this home, which they define as house, apartment, mobile, home, townhome , duplex, whatever it is, whatever your home is on April, the first 2020, that's a magic date, why they had to choose a date for the event. So some of us completed it when they first came out in March, it was a bit of a guessing game, especially for pregnant women. Am I going to give birth before April 1st, 2020 or not? When you're in the ninth month, it's no longer a guessing game. If you haven't completed it because we're past April 1st, 2020, we want you to answer it as to who was living in your house on April one, 2020. So, first question asks you for a number, how many people? One, two, three, seven, whatever. And it's, you've got two little blocks. You write a number. If it's a single digit, you just use the block on the right. There's a double digit. You've got the space for it. Second question. Were there any additional people staying here on April 1st, 2020 that you did not include in question one? And then it gives you options. And it says Mark, all that apply, not just one, but any that apply. And it gives you categories like children related or unrelated relatives. Non-relatives people staying here temporarily or no additional people. And this would include the comical uncle, Joe that just asked to stay for a week or two delay got on his feet. And now it's been seven months. If uncle Joe was living there, he had no permanent place. This was where he was living. You count ankle Joe. Right ? Okay. Um, one of the questions that I've seen is what about if I had a child at college and that one's a little more complicated, believe it or not. If your child was living in a dormitory, you do not count them. The dormitory will count them. If the child was living off half off campus housing, then potentially you would count them as part of your family, unless they were counted with a census questionnaire where were living right . A little confusing, but most everybody it's straightforward who was living in your house on April one, 2020. The third question is, is this a house apartment or mobile home? And you can only choose one in this question. And it's whether it's owned by you or someone in the house with a mortgage owned by you or someone in the house free and clear remortgaged, you lucky people I'm jealous, jealous, jealous, rented, or the fourth option occupied without payment of rent. Maybe your mother is allowing you to live in another home or you're , you know , a friend or something. So those are your options. And again, we've already seen redundancy question one and two, one to make sure that we're capturing everybody. Question three, we talked about one of the uses of the money is for low income credits for rental assistance. So we need to know what type of housing people are living in. Absolutely. Next question. What is your phone number? We talked about that real simple in case there's a problem. And it says right on here, they will only contact you if needed for this questionnaire. This is not going into a database. It's not being sold to telemarketers. We all love that .

Speaker 4:

And that's important. Cause I think people are concerned about that. I think there are people who say, you know, my information is private. It's bad enough that I'm getting robocalls about everything. You know? And , and I think that's a legitimate concern.

Speaker 3:

I agree completely. And it will only be used. Like I said, if either you've left something off, you didn't complete a question or there might be a conflict with one of your answers. Excellent. Um , next question. We're still on the first person. We've only done four questions. I mean, it's pretty quick and easy. I think we all know the answers off the top of our head. The next one is what is your full legal name? And it wants your full first name, your middle initial and your last name. I think we all know our names. At least I hope we all do. Next question. What is this person? The one answering this question, what is their sex? And you're only allowed to choose one box and your two choices are male or female. Now the important thing is this is how the person answering the question self identifies, correct? It is not what you might think. What I might think what the mayor might think what Carrie might think those are irrelevant to the answer. It is how this person identifies. And that is throughout the entire document. If there's more than one person, when you're answering for number two, number three, how they self identify? Next question. What is this person's age and their date of birth. Now you're going to look at me. I already see it in your face. Loretta . You're asking me the same question twice. Are you losing it? No, we're not losing it. It is a check and balance. Most people know their date of birth without any hesitation, but some of us, maybe even the person talking right now might not admit to their full age. They may say they're a certain age and holding by our fingernails, but we're holding.

Speaker 4:

I'm going to skip the next 10 birthdays.

Speaker 3:

So that's the check and balance, but you need to answer both of them because that might prompt a phone call that you answered one and not the other. There's a reason. And the census Bureau spent more money than I want to even admit coming up with these questions and researching and why we need them the best way to ask them to be the least intrusive, to answer the mayor's concerns, but to get the information we need. So we can divvy up that money the way we choose to divvied up to the people that are entitled to it. Right . Next question is asking whether the person is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, and then you have five boxes to choose from. No, yes. Mexican, Mexican American or Chicano. Yes. Puerto Rican. Yes. Cuban or yes, another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. And then you write in what it might be. So you're going to choose just one of those boxes. Okay . And for the purpose of the census, Hispanic is not considered a race. Does it mean it may not count in anything else in the entire world, but for the purpose of this questionnaire, you don't consider that. Right ? And then your last question for person, number one is what is the person's race? And then you have boxes to check white, black, or African American, American Indian, or American Zumi , Alaska native, Chinese, Filipino, Asian, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, native, Hawaiian, Samoan to Morin other Pacific Islander, other Asian. And for those, they would ask that you write in the specifics and you choose one of those.

Speaker 4:

Has it always been that many races listed? Cause I don't recall it. I had to look up one and I'm not even going to try and pronounce it, but it's a South Pacific country and I'd never heard of it. So it was just interesting on a census that's national. Why that particular does that make sense?

Speaker 3:

It does. And it's because it reflects the nationalities within this great country.

Speaker 4:

So it's trying to get the most amount in there to be counted ,

Speaker 3:

To make it easier also so that you don't, everybody doesn't have to write their own because remember that's more input problems also in a computer end and it's showing the inclusiveness, the attempt to gather everybody. We want everybody. And that's the end for person. Number one. Now we go on. If there was another person, it gets shorter. I mean, that was the tough one. That was the long one, not in the olden days where it was 20 pages. And you thought you were writing your college thesis. This is short. So for person number two, again, same question, full legal name, same as for person number one. But this is for person number two. And this applies for persons number two through six. Um, where does, does this person usually live or stay somewhere else? And you Mark all that apply and you have yes or no. And if it's yes for college, for military, for job or business, for nursing home, with a parent or other person seasonal , uh , in jail or prison for another reason, third question is how is this person related to person number one and you get to choose one again. And it says right on the instructions right next to the question and it's opposite sex husband, wife, or spouse, opposite sex unmarried and the list. It's too long lists. I won't bore everybody reading, but there's a whole lot of choices read through them. See which one is applicable for you? Next question, identical to the one we just had for the last, what is the sex ? And again, it's how this person identifies. Next question, age and date of birth. Again, same as we asked for person one, we want to know for person two and then the same questions about his step , Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, and also the race and you're done. And then the form goes on whether it's electronic or not. If there was a person, three identical questions, if there's a person, four identical questions, person, five identical person, six identical. If you have more in your family, if you're lucky and you have a nice big family, when you get to person seven, the questions get even shorter. They want to know the full legal name. They want to know the sex again. Self-identifying they want to know the age on April, the first and their date of birth. And if yes or no, are you related to person one? That's it , that's it. And you're done

Speaker 4:

So real quick to , to wrap that part up, if I'm identify as the head of household or my wife identifies as head of household can her or I go on, well, everyone who knows me knows that my wife is the head of household. So I just, you know, throwing it out there. But um , so her, I go on now, do I have to do person number two and then person number three? Or can I just fill this out for everyone in my house?

Speaker 3:

Oh no , no. You're expected to fill it out for everyone, but you're, you're delineating it for the different people. So let's say it's you, your wife and three kiddos. If you're the one completing it, you'd complete yourself as one, your wife is two and the kiddos is three, four and five. Got it . It doesn't matter. You know who completes it? If it's the wife, the husband, the grandmother, but just keep it straight so that everybody gets delineated. But it's, it's assumed that the same person who begins it will complete it for everybody. It's not a password .

Speaker 4:

And that's what I was getting at. I just wanted to make sure we clarify that for our listeners .

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Speaker 4:

All right . A whole lot of information,

Speaker 3:

Carrie , I just I'm curious. Cause I know you had mentioned how the last census, you know, we missed out in the city of plantation. How's plantation doing today. What are our census numbers now? We're not good. We're not good. Um, we're at 67.8%, which is even less than our total from 10 years ago. Um, which means we're still less than , uh , you know, missing over a third of our residents. Um, implantation. We have 23 different census tracks. Now not each tract may be fully engulfing, just plantation. They be maybe shared with surrounding areas, but we have 23 tracks. And I went through last night to get the most accurate information I could. The best track we have is at 80.8%. So about 81%, which is good. Nowhere near the hundred that I'm hoping for to a low of 52.4%. Now I'm going to give you a comparison to 10 years ago, same identical tracks. So the one right now leading at about 81%, 10 years ago, their final number was 82%. So they haven't even met 10 years ago. It was level right? The low track at 52.4 currently ended 10 years ago at 68.1. So they're still far behind right now. Remember the final count includes the census Bureau's enumerators going out. So we haven't had that yet, but we're hoping that we do more on our own because it's the first time we have the ability to do it easily on our own, through the website and through the telephone.

Speaker 4:

I just thought of something. Well, two part question here. So first part question is what's the deadline for this? What's the drop dead date.

Speaker 3:

It's moved a little bit. The , the absolute drop dead deadline. I'll I'll answer it this way. By December 31st, 2020, the census Bureau is required by law to present the final count for the entire country to the president. Okay . And then that's the requirements. And then the president's office will share those results officially with the States by the spring. Okay. So in order to get that accomplished, they've been pushing it back because of COVID, but there will be a cutoff , uh , right now it looks like it may be about the end of August. So we don't have a lot of time left. We need to get this done. It's important. It's really, and as we've gone through, it's fast, it's easy. It's something we all know this isn't where you have to go do your research. Right .

Speaker 4:

You know, so I wanted also just kind of go back to the online part because you had mentioned that this census is groundbreaking in the fact that this is the first time people have been able to do it online and I'm myself dated it. It probably took me a little over five minutes to complete the whole thing. I have four people in my household, two are children. It was very easy, but what about I have it written down? So by, by question is for individuals who want to do it online, but let's say for whatever reason, they don't have internet service in their house or they don't have access to a computer. I know that the library has been haphazard, but the library is a resource and only haphazard cause the COVID so they've been closed, but we have a library right in our city, in the center of our city, just about, and when it's open there's computers there that the public can use for free with internet and they can do the census there . Right?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And in fact, pre COVID , um, the libraries were part of the census group and they were ready, willing and able. If someone came in and said, I'd like to complete my census online, they would get the person set up and make sure they got to the right page and the, my 20, twenty.gov and then walk away. Excellent. And so that is still available. As long as the library is open subject to COVID and that's any library again, you don't have to do it in plantation, any library, any place that you can get access on a computer, you could borrow your neighbors and do it though . Yeah . I mean, you know , maybe your neighbor wants to lend you their tablet or their laptop borrow it, go online and do it. Right. It doesn't have to be a dedicated

Speaker 4:

Even cell phones. I'm sure. Right. Smartphones, right. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

You can log on to my 20, twenty.gov. You can do it. Absolutely. Right .

Speaker 4:

Mayor, I got a final thought for you. What can our residents do to kind of spread the word? I mean , what can we do as a city to try and promote this? Cause I know we've promoted it a lot. We have it on our website. We have it on all of our flyers and correspondences from the city. Is there anything else that, that we can do or engage our residents in a way that we can kind of raise awareness for this?

Speaker 3:

That's a good question. Um, as you're asking it, I'm thinking , um, well yesterday I , uh, had , uh , our bus bench ad people , uh, put out some , uh, ads on those one that says, wear your mask when it says , uh , wash your hands, social distancing. And you know, those lovely patriotic trucks

Speaker 2:

That were in our,

Speaker 4:

Which are they're beautiful. They're amazing.

Speaker 2:

And that was from the talent of our folks, our staff, they did amazing. So I said, can we maybe put those three thoughts on the tailgates of the trucks? So maybe it's time to do those also on the census to put it out because , uh , you know, as, as the mayors have continued to have conversations with the County , um, it's like, we think we're communicating. We think we're telling folks and advising folks as to how we need to get a handle on this. But somehow we're all frustrated because clearly we're not handle on this. And so , uh , you know, it's like, okay, what have we not tried? So that's where we come up with the bus benches and the , uh, the tailgates . And so I will go back to the office and see if I can put some of those in place. Uh, this is so important to the city, you know , right now we're in budget time. And , um , I'm so conservative and, but it, you know, good business practices, but still moving the city ahead. And , and when we miss out on funds that are available to us, it's very frustrating because it it's the easiest thing we can do the absolute easiest and folks, if you don't feel like you can do it, call city hall, we'll walk you through it. You know, we will absolutely make sure that you get counted. Uh, we are, you know, at the beginning of this whole COVID thing, we were talking about , uh, folks losing their jobs, this and that, and who is essential. And I said from day one, we are all essential. There is no, you know, Nope, not you. So we are all essential to contribute to the wellbeing, financial being of your city with the least amount of effort and disclosure personal stuff. Um, so although I didn't really want to give him my birthday,

Speaker 4:

Well, this is basically the equivalent of going to Publix . And , and I think that that's probably even harder, but going to Publix , filling out a little questionnaire and someone handing you 50 bucks, I mean, that's the analogy. You don't see the money directly to you in cash form from this census, but in all the services that sometimes, maybe we take for granted that funding comes from this. So I know there's so little effort in order to unlock so much for all of them

Speaker 3:

And Ezra, it's not $50 again, I love mathematics. So I took the, the range of numbers that either 700 billion up to one point 5 trillion annually, and I divided it by the population, the United States, I then divided it by the population and multiplied it all out. We're looking at an average, depending on which one of those numbers, but an average of about over $3,300 per person in plantation that we're talking about per year in this funding that this affects. So for five minutes of your time, you can guarantee us in one way or form or another over $3,300.

Speaker 4:

And with the population around 90,000, that's a big chunk. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

You shared about two point $7 million. And , um , as you every year add inflation for the 10 years, it's progressively great. $2.70, $7 million. What would that do for your fire ?

Speaker 4:

Absolutely. It's a huge, it's a huge , huge number.

Speaker 3:

Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. And beyond that, I would be remiss if I didn't say, especially since we're in a political campaign year beyond that, and maybe the main reason that this was started way back when, as part of the federal law and requirement is it determines the number of representatives each state will have in the United States house of representatives. Right. That's a very good point. 10 years ago, Florida gained two seats because of the census, right? If we stay on the projected tract , we're set to gain another two seats. And again, the number of seats in the us house of representatives is a finite number 435 , which means if we gain somebody else loses. So the balance of power is shifting, which means we have more power hopefully to get more of our agenda pushed through at the federal level, beyond that, it also affects the number of electors in the electoral college we're going to have, because that again is based on the population shifts. And we probably, we gained two again 10 years ago, hopefully we'll gain two more. And again, that's a set number, so we're getting more votes. So it not only gives us financial help, which is the theoretical or our own money coming back. But it's our money we're entitled to, but it also gives us additional political representation,

Speaker 4:

Which, you know, and I think as I'm listening to you, I'm thinking there's really nothing more constitutional and American to the fact that the States with the highest population in the greatest needs are definitely the ones that should be heard not to trivialize every other state's needs. But at the very least, you know, that's the way the system is supposed to work. That there's equal representation amongst all of the States based on the population and the numbers. And that's fantastic. I'm glad that you brought that up.

Speaker 2:

It's very important and especially in a political year. So if you're not really moved by the financial arguments, but you're moved by the political great go do it. There's something for everybody.

Speaker 4:

I was going to say, Lumera got me a little excited. I was going to say, fill the census out. We'll give you a free soccer ball, but you know, obviously I'm not going to commit to that, but know ,

Speaker 2:

I it's a side note, but , um, many of you may have noticed that fire station one on Broward Boulevard in East acre drive has been demolished because it no longer met standards. Um, and , uh , we have placed a camera there that you can watch construction on it 24 hours a day. So for you folks that have young ones, I have to tell you, when it first came online, I spent a couple hours myself just sit down and watch it . I get, yeah, I get excited about the construction and stuff. So , um, I think we have a link don't

Speaker 4:

We do, it's actually tied right to the city website and we've been , uh, we've been pushing it out through the plantation fire department's Facebook and Twitter pages. So we try to keep that up .

Speaker 2:

That's successful. We'll try to do that on other projects as we move forward, but I thought this a particular fire station deserve some additional , uh, FaceTime, so to speak. Yeah ,

Speaker 4:

It's an amazing picture. I was really surprised by how clear it is. And I think , uh , I was watching them as the , uh, as the food truck came in and I thought, Oh yeah, I'm hungry. And then you can see all the guys go to the truck. And I thought, that's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

And Jason came in and he was sort of looking at a second. And I said, that's the Fred Flintstone one. Cause they were compacting all of the dirt and stuff in it, you know? So you sort of relate to some of these other things, how they came about, but that's just me. I mean, I'm, I'm all about building and construction. I love it. So , uh , folks, if you get a chance , uh, while you're online, completing your census, please take a look at our building and fire state rebuilding a fire station one , uh, would love to see you all there. And um, thank you so much, Loretta. That's so much great information. My pleasure. Again, to me, it's fast, it's easy. And it has such important impact for this city, as well as our state, these of you , the rest of the country. And there's no reason not to do it. It's safe.

Speaker 3:

One last thing I didn't mention professionally. I use a lot of different websites, including federal and state government weds websites. Cause I'm required to the security. Doesn't make me happy all the time. The census has their own. They spent their own money and they have done everything in their power to make it secure for you to respond and for them to keep the data. And the last thing by law, federal law, our personally identifiable information, like the mayor's date of birth, my data per state secrets that no one is allowed to do

Speaker 5:

Ever

Speaker 3:

Must be kept private from everybody for 72 years, right now with all due respect to the America. She's just a young man , but in 72 years, I don't think I'm going to be on this earth, worried about who knows my date of birth, right? And most everybody alive truly will not be worried about it. Right? So again, that means that currently. And I think I saw it on ancestry.com. I'm not plugging him . It just happened to be flipping through it one night. I believe you can now see the 1940 census, right? My parents were reflected on that. They're long gone to heaven, right? They're not worried about their personal information getting out, but that's the SU the most recent one, you can see information about

Speaker 5:

Earliest , right ? Cool.

Speaker 3:

It is protected and it's federal law and the penalties are severe that they're not playing. I mean, this came from article one of our constitution requires this count. Article one, that's the first, I mean, you know, in many ways that might be deemed the most important though. I have to say probably article three with the lawyers is probably more important than

Speaker 5:

A shameless plug on article three then .

Speaker 3:

Okay . Well thank you very much. This is obviously very important to our city. So we really appreciate you mayor taking the time to join us today, Loretta, we really appreciate what you're doing with the census. So I guess that wraps it up as well . Thank you. Remember, stay safe. Where are your mask cover your cough? You've been listening to the city of plantation podcast. We strive to bring you accurate and timely information. Please continue to tune in to our podcast episodes and also catch up with us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and next door. If you have questions, send them to ask [email protected] and we will answer your questions directly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our podcast and stay safe, everyone.