Once every 10 years, the entire country participates in a critical event that aims to count every person in the United States -- the census.

The next census will take place on April 1, 2020. April 1 is also known as April Fool’s Day, but believe me when I say this effort is no joke. It is serious business ensuring everyone in Fontana is counted.

Data taken from this survey is used to allocate nearly $675 billion per year of federal funds to communities across the country.

That being said, the City of Fontana is starting to gear up for Census 2020. We’re looking for those who would like to be involved in making sure every single person in Fontana is counted.

Join City staff and me for our first Fontana Counts Committee meeting. We will be discussing census efforts, how you can become an ambassador for your neighborhood, and other ways you can get involved. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 in the Fontana City Hall Council Chambers, 8353 Sierra Avenue, at 6:30 p.m.

When you respond to the census, you help Fontana get its fair share of funding that is then spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public safety, and other programs.

But that’s not all; potential businesses look at the results to determine if their offices and stores should open in the area. Prospective developers also use the census to decide whether they should build new homes.

The success of the census and the funding that comes as a result of it depends on you.

The 2020 Census is unlike any other census before. It will be the first count in U.S. history that can be taken online. Be on the lookout in March of 2020 for instructions in your mail on how to respond online, by mail or by phone.

April 1, 2020 is just one year away, and we have a lot of work to do. Because the census is taken once every 10 years, we only have one shot at getting this right.

If you have questions about this effort, please contact Martha Guzman-Hurtado at mghurtado@fontana.org or (909) 350-6520. You can also visit our website at www.Fontana.org/Census2020.

(Acquanetta Warren is the mayor of Fontana.)

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