The U.S. Census Bureau says address canvassing, the first major field operation of the 2020 Census, is underway in the Lakeway Area.

Address canvassing improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list of households nationwide, which is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the census.

The Census Bureau created new software called the Block Assessment, Research and Classification Application. It compares satellite images of the United States over time, allowing Census Bureau employees to spot new housing developments, changes in existing homes and other housing units that did not previously exist. Reviewers also use BARCA to compare the number of housing units in current imagery with the number of addresses on file for each block.

June Iljana says census workers now are canvasing the Lakeway region.

“Our census workers are verifying addresses. We’ve been working with 911 systems to make sure we have an accurate address list.”

She says it is important every resident participates with the census because it accomplishes more than just a population count for congressional apportionment.

“It actually dramatically affects the amount of federal dollars that come back to the local community, for services we use every day such as roads, schools and healthcare. So every person that is counted in a community brings additional money back to their community to fund those services.”

To help identify address listers, employees will have badges and briefcases indicating their affiliation with the Census Bureau. They will knock on doors and ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the census.

Employees will introduce themselves as a Census Bureau employee, show their official government ID badge, and explain the purpose of the visit. People may also ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity.

“Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation,” said Marilyn Sanders, a regional director. “And it’s important to remember, when you respond to the census you shape your future and the future of your community.”

The 2020 Census will officially begin counting people in January 2020 in Alaska. Later most households in the country will start receiving invitations to respond online, by phone or by mail in March 2020.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years. Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.

For more information on address canvassing, visit the Census Bureau website.