Letters to the Editor, September 9, 2020: Basic responsibilities of citizenship that benefit everyone

The census is crucial – please participate 

Besides the presidential election and COVID-19, 2020 is also the 10-year point when our entire nation takes the Census. 

Since 1789, the U.S. Constitution has required “enumeration” to determine our representation in Congress. Undercounts especially hurt rural areas. 

The Census is how we tell Washington how to allocate taxpayers’ dollars. In 2010, Trinity County reported in at 47.7 percent response, but currently we have the third lowest response rate in California with only 28.7 percent. 

If we are undercounted, we do not get our fair share. We are already in fire season, practically an annual emergency here. 

To pay for firefighting and disaster relief, we need an accurate count for federal tax reserve funding. 

Otherwise we must contribute more local dollars to make up the shortfall.

This next month matters to all of us. More than $300 billion are derived from Census information. Reports of how much is distributed per person vary according to sources, but it is said that federal funding averages anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000 per person. We all pay taxes. If we don’t count everyone, we don’t get the goods we’ve already paid for!

The Census is confidential! Worried about submitting information on family members and residences to “the government”? The facts are, the Census is safe, secure and protected by federal law – you probably risk more exposure when commenting on Facebook than you do by filling out the Census.

Think of the Census as a “GoFundMe” opportunity for your favorite services--child care, seniors, highways. Except YOU ALREADY GAVE THE MONEY! Please fill out the 2020 Census. A few easy questions can really make a difference in our town! Go to 2020census.gov. Look for a Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Center in your area. Or call (844) 330-2020 today! 

Jan Bramlett

Fund Arcata Fire

As we are all aware, there is a shortage of fire/first responders in our state trying to fight more than 500 wildfires. 

I voted last time to support full staffing of our Arcata Fire District (AFD) which, in spite of the name, is not part of the City of Arcata budgeting. 

At that time my thinking was about my neighbor next door who needed assistance a few years ago to save his life and my other neighbor up the street who forgot he left chicken bones cooking on his stove, filling his house with smoke. 

AFD personnel arrived just in time to avoid a full blown fire. 

However, now I think more broadly how all of us throughout the state need fully staffed fire stations. We are facing (no longer unprecedented) major blazes throughout the state. Cal Fire has repeatedly stated, there is a huge shortage of resources to fight these fires. We don’t want to experience a shortage here. 

AFD serves residents and businesses in Bayside, Jacoby Creek, Arcata, Manila and McKinleyville. We know that we need the three stations fully staffed. 

This small tax (about the cost of one sandwich/month) will restore lost positions and keep open the three fire stations serving our district. Check out the details at arcatafire.org/measure-f-faqs or at Friends of Measure F Facebook page. 

This is desperately needed funding to assure our communities are protected.  Vote Yes on Measure F. 

Pamela Brown



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