As Census deadline nears, can Iowa reach a complete count?
Nearly 30 percent of Iowans have yet to be counted in the 2020 Census — and the September 30 deadline is quickly approaching. A complete, accurate count is key to receiving funding to meet our communities' needs, including health care, education and child care.
Iowa's Complete Count Committee, comprised of community, nonprofit and business leaders from across the state, has been raising awareness of the Census to get Iowans counted.
On the podcast this week, two committee members, Deann Cook and Bill Menner, talk about why being counted matters — and how Iowans can help ensure a complete count.
A few highlights from the episode, lightly edited for clarity:
On why completing the Census is so important
Bill: "The Census is power and purse — it's how your tax dollars are proportioned and determines your representation in Congress."
Deann: "Your voice is more valuable than you know, and you'll see the results of exercising that voice every single day for the next ten years."
On the challenge of counting all Iowans
Bill: "Hard-to-count populations are growing in Iowa. The challenge becomes identifying these Iowans, many of whom don't have easy access to a computer and can't go online to fill out the Census."
On what Iowans can do to reach a complete count
Deann: "Let people know that things affecting their daily lives — the roads they drive on, the health care they access, the school funding for kids in their communities — these all are driven by this ten-minute exercise they do once every ten years."
Blog: Congress must act now on child care
A July survey of child care providers conducted by Iowa’s Department of Human Services highlights the stark challenges providers face months into the Covid-19 pandemic:
Nearly 1 in 4 providers (23 percent) has closed temporarily since March
On average, providers have seen their enrollment decline by 20 percent — with some larger centers reporting up to an 80 percent enrollment drop
A staggering 93 percent of providers have experienced financial losses
Child care advocates have been sounding the alarm for months: providers cannot stay in business — and families can’t find care — unless Congress acts swiftly and boldly.
There's talk of Congress waiting to pass a relief bill, if at all, until the end of next month. That's inexcusable. Iowa families and communities can’t wait — we need a robust package now, one that makes child care a top priority. Learn more about the unprecedented challenge facing our child care industry (and what you can do about it) in our latest blog post.
DHS to replace SNAP groceries for families hit by derecho
The Iowa Department of Human Services has extended to September 17 the deadline for households who qualify for Food Assistance, or SNAP, and had food spoiled or destroyed due to the August 10 storm, to apply for replacement groceries. See if you qualify.
Whether after a natural disaster or during a global pandemic, SNAP is a critical first responder, quickly helping Iowans put food on the table. Bonus — SNAP pumps dollars into local economies as Iowans use their benefits to meet their basic needs.
Contact Senators Ernst and Grassley, and ask them to press for a return to bipartisan negotiations and include a temporary boost to SNAP benefits in the next Covid relief package.