April 1 is CNMI Census Day

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ON Thursday morning, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, first lady Diann T. Torres, CNMI Census office manager Clyde K. Norita, U.S. Census advisor Colleen D. Joyce, Secretary of Commerce Mark O. Rabauliman, 2020 CNMI Census staff members, and other members of the community gathered at the multi-purpose center in Susupe for the CNMI Census Day proclamation signing.

Following an invocation by Pastor Frederick Fatialofa — who also serves as 2020 CNMI Census crew leader for field operations — the proclamation was read by three enumerators: Valerie Apatang from Rota, Michelle Igisomar from Saipan, and Nicole Diaz from Tinian.

Gov. Torres and Lt. Gov. Palacios then signed the proclamation recognizing April 1, 2020 as Census Day.

The proclamation states that “an accurate Census count is vital to our community and residents’ well-being by helping planners determine where to locate schools, day care centers, roads and public transportation, hospitals and other facilities, and achieving an accurate and complete count of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ growing and changing population.”

The governor and the lieutenant governor emphasized the importance of ensuring that everyone in the nation is counted.

The proclamation states that more than $675 billion in federal funding is awarded annually based on Census data.

On Thursday, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios sign a proclamation declaring April 1, 2020 as CNMI Census Day.  Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

The Torres-Palacios administration highlighted the crucial role that CNMI Census data play in policymaking and resource allocation, and encouraged the entire Commonwealth to participate in this year’s Census.

The administration also thanked and congratulated the entire 2020 CNMI Census team for their efforts in ensuring that everyone in the Commonwealth is counted.

U.S. Census advisor Joyce said: “We only get one shot every 10 years to get this information to drive all of these [policymaking] decisions. Responses are confidential and protected by law, since [our] employees take an oath and are sworn for life to protect your personal information. Personal information is never shared, and responses are only used to create statistics to benefit the community.”

Secretary Rabauliman concluded the ceremony by reiterating the importance of the Census, and thanking the 2020 CNMI Census Staff.

“I cannot express how important it is to give the right count for the CNMI because this Census data is what will be referenced by government and businesses in policy and investments,” Rabauliman said.

“We are working hard and diligently to ensure that the data we collect is of the highest quality. This whole process is not easy, and I know that we are on a time crunch, but I know that we have the best team for this job,” he added.

The 2020 CNMI Census kicked off the enumeration phase on March 1, 2020 and will continue until May. On April 1, 2020, Census Day will be celebrated across the United States, including the CNMI.

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