The Bozeman/Gallatin Complete Count Committee are proudly launching a mascot and brand to support the efforts of the Census in our community. “Max” a cheeky dog with floppy ears and an inquisitive smile reminds all of us to “Max the Count” during the 2020 Census. The dog, who is loosely based off Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford’s pup of the same name, is designed by local artist Seth Neilson and is a part of a larger effort to spread the word about the importance of the Census in Montana.
Not only is the Census critical for getting accurate data for our fast growing area, it’s also important for our region to maximize the amount of federal funding available. For every Montana resident counted the Census estimates the state will receive nearly $2,000 per person each year in federal funding. The $20,000 per person coming into the state over the next decade is used in every Montana county for medical assistance, educational programs, need-based support, infrastructure, highway planning and over 300 other programs.
Starting next week, almost 95% of households will start to receive their initial invitations to respond to the 2020 Census in the mail. For the first time, responders will be able to respond to the Census online as well as by phone and by mail. Most areas of the country are expected to respond online so most households will receive a letter asking them to go online to complete the census questionnaire.
The Bozeman/Gallatin Complete Count Committee will continue outreach efforts through this spring as Census activities continue well into the summer months. Committee members are actively doing outreach across Gallatin County spreading the word to our many different audiences. In particular a separate education effort has been launched by Montana State University with a focus on students, and the Gallatin City-County Health Department is working together with partners to reach Spanish speaking populations in rural Gallatin County.
More information about the Census activities in Montana can be found at the State of Montana’s website https://census.mt.gov/.