Census Counts Launches Ad and Mail Program to Encourage 2020 Census Participation

Census News 10.5.20


Contact: Charmaine Riley, [email protected], 202.548.7166

WASHINGTON – The nationwide Census Counts campaign – housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund – launched several initiatives to ensure that people across the country participate in the 2020 Census and don’t miss their chance to bring resources and political power to their communities, including:

  • A mailing program to 400,000 households in states with low-response rates:  Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas
  • An ad campaign targeting people experiencing homelessness running in Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; New York, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C.
  • A nearly quarter million dollar radio ad campaign reaching more than 9.5 million people in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Statement from Beth Lynk, director, Census Counts campaign:

“It’s not too late to fill out the census but you have to act now. If you don’t get counted, your community could miss out on health care funding, education resources, clean drinking water, and political power for the next 10 years. We’re mobilizing across the country so people who have been left out of the census in the past can get counted and secure their future. We need everyone to help spread the word so our friends, family, and neighbors don’t miss their chance.”


The Education Fund’s home mailing program in states with low total response rates:

The Education Fund mailed bilingual postcards to 400,000 households in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. These postcards gave households in low-responding census tracts concrete reasons to fill out the 2020 Census and clear instructions on how to participate online, by phone, or by mail.

The Education Fund’s ad campaign targeting people experiencing homelessness: 

Though the Census Bureau has completed its three-day count of people experiencing homelessness (September 22-24), people can end up missing from the census if they haven’t recently visited service providers like shelters and mobile food vans, or if they were missed during the bureau’s canvass of outdoor locations where people are likely to be living or sleeping. The Education Fund launched advertisements in major cities across the country to encourage people experiencing homelessness to engage with census takers and to inform them of their right to respond to the census on their own to ensure their inclusion.

Outdoor Posters: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Digital Mobile Billboards: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Phoenix, and Sacramento

Photos by city available upon request

Nonresponse Followup Radio Ad Campaign 

The Education Fund launched radio advertising targeted to historically undercounted communities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These ads reached up to 9,516,892 people and encouraged them to take the census while they still had time. Below are the scripts and links to the radio ads that ran: 

Radio Ad 1

“You don’t have to go anywhere to give back to your community. Act from home by being counted in the census, and help us get funding for things like schools and housing. Respond online or by phone from the comfort of your home, or simply return the mailed questionnaire. Be counted at 2020Census.gov.”

Radio Ad 2 

“Everyone wants a better life for their family. That’s why it’s important to be counted in the census. Being counted gets our neighborhood funding for things like schools and community programs. Respond online or by phone from the comfort of your home, or simply return the mailed questionnaire. Be counted at 2020Census.gov.”

Census Counts campaign:

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:

  • The National Get Out the Count (GOTC) Coalition
  • The State Count Action Network
  • Census Champions: a network of elected officials and library trustees working to ensure a fair and accurate count.

Additional background on the Census Counts campaign can be found HERE.

 The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit civilrights.org/edfund/.