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On Census Day, Scranton mayor asks people to be counted

Census data is linked to funding for the city.
Credit: WNEP
The census data can help show where the community needs new services and increased funding.

SCRANTON, Pa. — The 2020 Census is all about counting the population of the United States.

You count everyone living in your household on April 1.

That number is key to determining funding for all kinds of programs, and the mayor of Scranton says everyone needs to do their part.

"As we're going through this unfortunate and difficult time if there's a couple silver linings, one of them is everybody has a little extra time to fill out the census," said Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti.

Scranton is a cash-strapped city; the mayor says it needs all the help it can get.

The school district is struggling financially and coping with a lead and asbestos problem.

Of course, everyone has been hit hard by the coronavirus.

 "I really want everyone to know the census is so, so important. We are actually seeing in live time now why it's so important, not only does it usually matter for our regular funding, but it's something we want to make sure we're catching everyone as we're applying for that relief money because of the COVID crisis," added Mayor Cognetti.

For the first time, this year's census can be done by phone, mail, online or in-person.

The threat of coronavirus has changed some things: those door-to-door census counters won't be out and about until it's considered safe until at least May. 

The deadline for census information has been pushed back until mid-August.

 "This is tax money that we put into the system that is coming back to Scranton this is money we've already put into the system. We need to count ourselves and make sure we're getting all the money we possibly can for our schools, our firehouses, our transportation system, for our roads."

Officials with the census bureau say any information you give is kept confidential.

Get more information and complete the census questionnaire HERE.