2020 Census Tribal Listening Session

The U.S. Census Bureau is hosting a listening session with federally and state recognized tribes, and AIAN organizations across the country. This listening session is to continue our ongoing communication, with an update on 2020 Decennial Operations, the 2020 Disclosure Avoidance System (DAS) and the geographic hierarchy of DAS. The DAS is a new, advanced, and far more powerful confidentiality protection system than previously used that employs a rigorous mathematical process to protect respondents’ information and identity.

This national webinar will provide a forum for tribal stakeholders to learn more about 2020 Decennial Operational updates, the transition to the DAS to protect information provided by respondents on the 2020 Census, and the geographic hierarchy of DAS.

The 2020 Census Tribal Listening Session will be held at the following date and time:

Friday, May 15, 2020 | 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST

URL to participate in webinar: https://censusevent.webex.com/censusevent/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0869a03d8b49d009c2853e45c952a859

Dial-in Information to join the audio conference portion of the webinar:

1-888-989-7592 | Passcode: 6547188

** If prompted when logging into WebEx, password is “census”

If you have any questions prior to the webinar, please contact Dee Alexander at (301) 763-9335, or ocia.tao@census.gov.

Census Bureau to Resume Some 2020 Census Field Operations in Select Locations

May 4, 2020 —The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with Federal, State and local health officials, will begin a phased restart of some 2020 Census field operations in select geographic areas this week.

Updates on the operations resuming by location are available at [2020census.gov]2020census.gov. This webpage will be updated weekly as 2020 Census operations resume across the United States.

The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance. All returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau has ordered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all field staff, including those that work in a field office. These materials will be secured and provided to staff prior to restarting operations.

As part of the phased restart of operations, the Census Bureau will resume dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home. This operation is also known as Update Leave. About 5% of households are counted in the Update Leave operation, where census workers will confirm or update a household’s physical location address and then leave a census questionnaire packet.

The Census Bureau began delivering census materials to these households on March 15; however, this operation was suspended on March 18 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Update Leave operation does not require interaction between households and a Census Bureau employee and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. In states where we have resumed the Update Leave operation, we are also resuming fingerprinting for new hires to keep applicants moving through the hiring process. ACO staff will begin returning to the office as necessary to support the Update Leave operation, as well.

The Associate Director for Decennial Programs leads the operational team making the decision to restart select operations within an ACO, driven by the assessment of career Census Bureau operational leadership; a thorough review of the operating status of a state, locality or tribal area; the key data that support that operating status as identified by Federal, State and local guidance; and the ability of Census Bureau staff to safely resume operations, including the procurement of PPE.

Households that receive the 2020 Census invitation packets are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to the 2020 Census using the census ID included in the questionnaire packet. People can respond online, by phone or by completing and returning the paper form by mail. Responding with the census ID or by completing and returning the paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of their communities. 

For more information, please visit the 2020 Census COVID-19 operational adjustments page.

About the Intergovernmental Affairs Office: Tribal Affairs

The Tribal Affairs team works closely with American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) tribal nations on a government-to-government basis to address issues concerning tribal self-government. The government-to-government relation is based on the United States Constitution, federal treaties, policy, law, court decisions, executive orders, and the ongoing political relationship among tribal nations and the federal government. The Intergovernmental Affairs Office serves as the principal liaison office for tribal affairs and is the principal advisor to the Director and executive staff on tribal issues and concerns. The team’s work focuses on collaborating with other agencies, building and maintaining relationships with tribal leaders, tribal associations, and tribal citizens in order to educate, inform, consult and share program information from across the U.S. Census Bureau.


Dee Alexander
Tribal Affairs Coordinator

U.S. Census Bureau

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