The Reverend Thurmond Tillman has not only led his congregation at the First African Baptist Church in Savannah for more than 30 years, he also works with the U.S. Census Bureau and is currently a Senior Partnership Specialist in preparation for the 2020 Census.

Rev Tillman met on January 29th with the Skidaway Island Democratic Club to talk about the importance of the 2020 Census.

“It is imperative that the Census is accurate, as it is the basis for funding from the federal government that comes back to states, cities, and municipalities, giving them not only money for critical programs but also power to implement them,” he said. Every member of a household has to be counted, including at group quarters such as jails and nursing homes. Importantly, there is no question on the 2020 Census about U.S. citizenship, and interpreters are available in at least 59 languages.

Rev Tillman explained that the US Census is taken every 10 years and that in preparation for this year, an on-line test census was taken in 2015 to determine if the internet could be used to collect accurate responses. He said that “despite questions about seniors’ use of computers, that specific cohort of the population participated in this test in greater numbers than millennials.”

Census workers are urgently needed. Applications can be filed on-line for both census workers and for managerial positions. The Census provides great jobs, flexible hours, weekly paychecks, and paid training, Rev Tillman told the gathering. There is an interview process and background checks, and fingerprinting are required. To join the Census Team, go to: https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.

2020 will be the first year the Census is conducted online, as well as in person. Asked about the potential for security breaches, Rev Tillman said that “there have been many safeguards put in place to prevent hacking.” He also noted that information obtained through the Census is kept confidential for 70 years (this year the results of the 1940 Census will be released).

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit https://2020census.gov/en.html.

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