The city of Brookhaven is hosting a “Brookhaven Counts Festival” on March 14 to raises awareness about the 2020 U.S. Census.

The free event is set for March 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at Northeast Plaza, 3307 Buford Highway. There will be bounce houses for children, music, games and giveaways.

The festival is focused on growing the community’s awareness of the upcoming Census, how to participate, and its effect on funding and political representation for local communities, according to a news release.

The Census is held every 10 years to get a headcount of the country’s population. The numbers are used to determine how to distribute annually some $675 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments. The numbers also determine how many seats a state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as defining legislative and school districts.

By April 1, known as Census Day, all homes across the country are scheduled to have Census questionnaires. There are no citizenship questions on the Census. Federal law protects Census responses and information from being shared with law enforcement or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Sample questionnaires and more information about the Census are available at 2020census.gov.

For the first time, people will be able to answer Census questionnaires online via a website portal that launches March 23. People will also be able to answer the Census questionnaire by phone or by mail.

Brookhaven has partnered The Salvation Army, The Latin American Association, We Love BuHi, Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Telemundo and Skyland United Methodist Church to especially reach immigrant communities who are often undercounted in the Census. More than 24% of Brookhaven’s estimated 54,000 population is Latino or Hispanic, according to the city.

Postcards from the U.S. Census Bureau will be mailed out in March inviting residents to go online to complete the census on any electronic device. Residents can also complete the Census through a paper survey or by phone in 52 different languages.

For more information see brookhavenga.gov/census2020.

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