Digital Census Day Events: Census Counts Campaign Brings Together Hundreds of Organizations and Elected Officials for #EveryoneCounts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tamika Turner, [email protected], 419.913.8088

Digital Census Day Events: Census Counts Campaign Brings Together Hundreds of Organizations and Elected Officials for #EveryoneCounts

Link to Campaign Coalition Statement

Link to Census Counts’ April 1 Census Day Events

WASHINGTON –  Census Day is April 1, 2020 and the Census Counts campaign partners are mobilizing digitally across the country to ensure communities the census has historically missed know that #EveryoneCounts in the 2020 Census. Households can already respond to the census online, by phone, or mail, and in response to COVID-19, the Census Counts network is working hard to make it easier than ever for people to use text banking, phone banking, and other digital tools to get their communities counted. 

The Census Counts campaign, which is housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, brings together community-based organizations across a wide spectrum of advocacy: civil rights, immigrant, LGBTQ, disability, infant and child, poverty and homelessness, faith-based, labor, health care, education, youth, and more. These organizers and advocates are working in coalition to remind the country that #EveryoneCounts and everyone deserves the community resources and political power that are secured when they are counted in the census. 

A full list of Census Counts’ Census Day online events can be found here. Additional background on the Census Counts campaign is below.

Beth Lynk, Campaign Director, Census Counts, The Leadership Conference Education Fund

“The Leadership Conference Education Fund and our Census Counts campaign wouldn’t be turning our time, attention, money, and organizing power toward the 2020 Census unless it was absolutely critical to protecting and building our communities. The 2020 Census is a chance to ensure communities that have long been marginalized and erased receive the rights and resources they deserve. Getting counted in the census brings resources to our communities and gives us a say in who leads the political institutions that have the power to protect or harm us. Everyone counts, so everyone must  be counted in the 2020 Census.”

Joint Statement from 100+ members of the Census Counts campaign coalition: 

“The census builds America, so the census should look like America. If we’re all counted in the 2020 Census, we’ll have a true snapshot of the country: people of all ages, races, nationalities, sexual orientations and genders, and religions.

“Getting counted in the census gives all of us — citizens and non-citizens, people who are housed and unhoused, people who can vote and people who cannot — a chance to shape the future of our communities. Filling out the census helps determine how many books and computers our kids’ schools can afford, whether seniors in our communities can afford heating in the winter, and if there are bus routes where we need them. Each person who gets counted builds political power for our communities and gives us our fair say in selecting our leaders — from the president and Congress, all the way to city council and school boards.

“People across America are keeping their families and communities safe and healthy by staying home, or serving the public by providing essential services. Responding to the census yourself — online, by phone, or through the mail — is another way to do your part and help keep your community strong. Everyone can be a census advocate by teaching their friends and neighbors about how getting counted in the 2020 Census can build a stronger America.

“Every person in every community across the country deserves to be counted in the 2020 Census — and the next 10 years of our country’s future depends on it.” 

A full list of Census Counts campaign partner organizations who have signed on to this statement is here.

A full list of state, local, and tribal elected and appointed officials who serve as Census Champions is here.

 

BACKGROUND

What’s the Census and Why Does it Matter?

Every 10 years, the Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone living in the United States — regardless of immigration status. 

Census-derived data are used to allocate more than $1.5 trillion in federal funding annually to communities across the country. This helps pay for affordable health care programs, food programs for kids at school, critical infrastructure projects to treat drinking water and repair roads, and more. It’s also used to assign fair representation in Congress, as well as in state and local legislatures that can help ensure your concerns are heard and your needs are met. 


Who has the Census Historically Missed and Why?

Communities that have been historically missed by the decennial census encompass a wide swath of people who have been deprived of their fair share of political representation and critical resources.

This includes people of color, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ people, people experiencing homelessness, young children, people with disabilities, people living in rural areas, people with limited English proficiency, renters, and more. 

There are several reasons these communities may not participate in the census, including:

  • Distrust of the government due to historical and current discrimination
  • Language and literacy barriers
  • Fears that data may be used to deport or otherwise persecute them
  • An increased likelihood of experiencing poverty or homelessness
  • Limited or inconsistent access to mail services or the internet
  • Lack of information around the process or requirements

How Does Census Counts Fill the Census Outreach Gap?

The Census Counts campaign, which is housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, brings together community-based organizations across a wide spectrum of advocacy: civil rights, immigrant, LGBTQ, disability, infant and child, poverty and homelessness, faith-based, labor, health care, education, youth, and more. 

Through education, training, organizing, and outreach, these organizers and advocates are working to ensure communities the census has historically missed are counted in the 2020 Census. The campaign has three main action groups:

Our organizations include people and networks who live and work in the communities most at risk of being missed in the 2020 Census. As trusted national and local messengers, Census Counts organizations are able to communicate the facts and importance of the census, provide resources to facilitate participation, and address community members’ concerns.

This includes training and educating people and community leaders about the 2020 Census, translating materials into languages the U.S Census Bureau will not, and monitoring bureau activities to ensure they are best serving hard-to-count populations. 

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