By Terrina L. Long | May 29, 2020 

Editor’s note: Terrina Long is the 2020 Census of Guam adviser.

Resiliency.

The people of Guam are known and respected for their resilience and enduring spirit through numerous challenges over the centuries. This strength has time and time again been showcased through their innate sense of community and the complete embodiment of inafa’maolek.

I have personally witnessed this resiliency as I have watched the residents of Guam come together, unified in a common cause: the health and safety of the island. It was this unity and commitment to making things better for others that has allowed the island to progress thus far in the wake of these unprecedented circumstances. Today, I am calling upon that community spirit, as it will be needed over the next few months to ensure Guam has the support it needs for the next 10 years and beyond.

In the upcoming days, the 2020 Census of Guam will resume its count of the island’s population and households. The information collected is your opportunity to influence the federal funding Guam receives for health care, emergency facilities, schools and roads. Your responses have a direct impact on the services for Guam’s children, veterans, first-responders, elderly and small business owners.

Responding to the 2020 Census of Guam provides a roadmap of the essential needs not just for your family, but for the community at large.

Our pledge to you

Beginning next week, you will once again see 2020 Census of Guam workers in your village. They will be delivering a Notice of Visit to every door, inviting all households to participate in this extremely important and essential process. This Notice of Visit will provide instructions on how to contact the Guam Census Office to complete the 2020 census over the phone or to make an appointment for an in-person interview. You may also complete an in-person interview with a census worker when they deliver the Notice of Visit.

In planning the return to operations, we focused on creating and maintaining an environment that adheres to all public health guidelines and requirements, while still conducting the highest quality census. We incorporated a return-to-work policy that stresses the mandatory use of personal protective equipment, regular sanitization of spaces, and social distancing.

When delivering the Notice of Visit, every census worker will be wearing a face mask which covers their mouth and nose, and gloves. They will continue to also wear their yellow 2020 Census of Guam safety vest, carry personal hand sanitizer, and display both badges identifying them as census workers. All in-person interviews will be held in accordance with the 6-feet social distancing requirements.

It is my pledge to you that all activities will be conducted with the health and safety of each census worker and member of the community as our priority.

The 2020 Census of Guam is not only a once-in-a-decade snapshot of Guam’s population, it is the chance to uplift and empower future generations. It is the chance to provide them with the resources they need to continue to support the community with the spirit of inafa’maolek.

Respond to the 2020 Census of Guam. Together we can make a difference.

Note: This was originally posted in the Letter to the Editor section of the Post on 5/29/2020.

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