Fort Bragg Advocate-News - - CLASSIFIED­S - Lu­cre­sha Ren­te­ria is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Men­do­cino Coast Clin­ics, a local, non-profit, fed­er­ally qual­i­fied health cen­ter of­fer­ing med­i­cal, den­tal and be­hav­ioral health care to peo­ple in the coastal com­mu­ni­ties of Men­do­cino County.

spent, in­clud­ing sup­port for schools, roads, parks, pub­lic health, trans­porta­tion, neigh­bor­hood im­prove­ments, and more.

The Cen­sus be­gan in March and closes July 30. Ev­ery ten years, the gov­ern­ment counts ev­ery per­son in our coun­try, not just cit­i­zens and vot­ers, but ev­ery­one. Un­der­stand­ably, some peo­ple are ner­vous about com­plet­ing a gov­ern­ment sur­vey, but the ben­e­fits out­weigh the risks.

The cen­sus asks for your name, date of birth, race, sex and the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in your home, but per­sonal in­for­ma­tion gath­ered as part of the Cen­sus can­not be shared with any­one or any other fed­eral agency, in­clud­ing the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice or Im­mi­gra­tion or Cus­toms En­force­ment. Data is only re­leased in sum­mary ta­bles; no in­di­vid­ual records are re­leased. (The penalty for wrong­ful dis­clo­sure is up to five years im­pris­on­ment and/ or a fine of $250,000.)

It is easy to par­tic­i­pate.

The 2020 Cen­sus is the first one in his­tory that al­lows peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate on­line. Most peo­ple have re­ceived a unique iden­ti­fy­ing num­ber in the mail, which al­lows them to com­plete the on­line form. You may also re­ceive a pa­per sur­vey in the mail.

Cen­sus Bureau em­ploy­ees will also visit some peo­ple at their homes. Th­ese em­ploy­ees will never ask for money and they will have a photo ID badge with a De­part­ment of Com­merce wa­ter­mark and ex­pi­ra­tion date. (If you sus­pect fraud, call 1-800923-8282 to speak with a local Cen­sus Bureau rep­re­sen­ta­tive or visit cen­ to learn more.)

Times are tough, but so are we. Our coastal com­mu­ni­ties have sur­vived hard­ship be­fore, and by pulling to­gether and tak­ing care of one an­other, we will do so again.

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