U.S. census benefits for you and central Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —  It is one of the easiest things you can do to bring in tens of thousands of dollars to our community.  It can also directly help you, your family and friends.  We are talking about filling out the U.S. Census.  There’s a large local effort to get people to fill out the form and help fill up your wallet and city coffers.

“Everyone in the United States has to fill out their census. We want every person to reply to the census because it can bring in 30 thousand dollars to the community to fund housing, healthcare and education,” said Callie Kennington, campaign manager of Count Me INdy.

The census affects everyone, and the more people who fill it out, the more money that will go to a community.

“So if people have small children and they’re worried about their education, this can impact head-start programs, reduced and free school lunches,  federal Pell grants when they’re going to college.  So it’s really important that we know how many people are here so the federal government can give us the right amount of funds to serve our community,” said Kennington.

To remind people about the census, Count Me Indy and other organizations passed out and planted 5,000 tulips.  The idea is you plant tulips in the fall and they bloom in the spring, so they’re about to come up to serve as a reminder to the local community to participate in the census.

The timeline to respond has been extended to the end of August.  You can respond by mail, online or by phone.  And If you’re worried how your data will be shared, local organizers say not to.

“Everyone’s data is protected for 72 years. It can’t be shared with anyone including the IRS, ICE, even the president of the United States himself does not have access to individuals census records,” said Kennington.

And everyone counts, regardless of immigration status.

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