Ophelia Noble was immediately suspicious when she got a letter from the government in the spring of 2010 asking about her family.
“I called my mom,” she said. “What is this? What does the government want from me? Why do they want to know who lives in my house?”
It was Noble’s first time as head of her own household, responsible for participating in the U.S. census, a comprehensive survey of everyone living in the country that occurs every 10 years. She didn’t understand why Uncle Sam needed personal details about her life.
This year, as the country gears up for the 2020 census, Noble’s approach is much different. As executive director of the Noble Foundation, she’s working in conjunction with the Southwest Washington Complete Count Coalition to educate everyone in Clark County about why obtaining an accurate count of the region is crucial.
“The census is greater than any one individual,” Noble said. “It really is about our communities pulling together, because we will not have this opportunity for another 10 years.”