The census impacts the Pullman community more than people think. I sat down with Pete Dickinson, a planning director for the city of Pullman, to understand more about how the census impacts all members of the Pullman community, especially students!
“The planning department that I work with maps out the growth of the population based on the census information,” Pete said. “We plan for the future based on what you fill out!”
This is why it's important to fill out the census as if you live in Pullman. While many of us are only here for part of the year, Pullman needs to have the resources and funding available to handle a crisis during the WSU school year and in the summer (when students are gone).
“You fill out the census where you spend most nights,” Pete said. “Pretend that you still live in Pullman, because if the coronavirus didn’t exist, you would still be in Pullman going to school.” Not to mention still using many of the services funded by census data!
on the road again
“The transportation services are the biggest part that the census provides funding for,” Pete said.
Have you ever ridden the bus? Well, the census provides money so that Pullman transit can operate. By filling out the census, your data helps direct where funds go so that you can continue to ride the bus and make it to school, work or the store on time.
If you choose to walk, the census is here for you too! Funding from the census goes to the roads and sidewalks. So it is important to recognize that no matter where you go, the census is all around you.
Census data is also used to fund housing and commercial facility improvements and additions. From low to moderate income housing, it affects the quality and supply of the housing facilities available in our area. In addition, if your roof has a leak, certain grants can help improve these conditions based on census data.
Information from the census helps businesses find their target audience and locations to expand. How many of us wish we had a Target, Trader Joe's or Costco in town? In order to attract new businesses we have to fill out the census.
For example, “places like Trader Joe’s look into the census populations to find out if they will receive a profit from the people,” Pete said.
Parks, gyms and aquatic center funding is also impacted by the census. If you love working out or going on a walk with your kids or dogs, fill out the census! The way Pullman counts in the census determines how much federal funding is granted to our community, so you can enjoy the things you love.
Public safety is also impacted by the census. The size and amount of fire stations are determined by the census. In addition, the number of officers we have are based on the population.
The funding and resources that the census provides are a vital part of this community's daily routine. While we are working through a very confusing and nerve-racking time, we can't let our community down in a time where we need to come together most. We need to ensure that we have the resources and funding to act when these crisis arise.