Why does the Census matter?
The Census count affects political representation and power in congress, and billions of dollars of federal and state funding, shaping our hospitals, schools, police presence, public transit, and road systems. It also affects nonprofits, which rely on government funding to provide vital services and programs—and the amount of public funding is determined by population census count numbers. A severe under count in the 2020 Census would jeopardize the very existence of many nonprofits, causing them to cut staff, end programs, and cripple their ability to connect with underserved communities. A complete count ensures that all of our communities will be represented and resourced accurately.
The 2020 Census brings unique challenges:
- Distrust in government is high.
- This will be the first digital census with an online approach, which may be compromised because 35% of U.S. adults do not have Internet access at home.
- While there will not be a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, there is a residual fear among the immigrant community about filling out a government form given the recent attempt for such a question, as well as ongoing anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies coming from Washington.
Tools and Resources
CRE has developed a series of Census educational tools and resources to support community-based organizations in their work to increase census participation among their constituents. If you have specific questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Census 101: Energizing and Mobilizing NYC Nonprofits to Get Out The Count
This training will provide an introduction to the Census, why it matters, and the barriers New York faces to achieve a complete and accurate count. Nonprofits with longstanding relationships within communities serve as trusted messengers and key partners in the Get Out the Count efforts. The session aims to spark ideas for how organizations can help increase census participation in their communities—particularly those that are traditionally under counted—by building on existing programmatic work and leveraging organizational assets and networks.
Census 201: Energizing and Mobilizing NYC to Get Out The Count in 2020
This training will provide more tools on how to answer questions and concerns around the Census. The session uses scenarios to encourage dialog for frequently asked questions such as questions that appear on the Census form, who gets counted, confidentiality etc.
In order to continue to create buy-in and to continue to spread the word about the Census in your communities, we’ve created a toolkit that has everything you need to know to plan and host your very own teach-in, including “how to” guides and a social media toolkit.
More information to come on further trainings and workshops!
What is a NOCC?: The New York City Census Team has divided our City into 245 Neighborhood Organizing Census Committees (NOCCs) that will be helping to ensure fair and accurate counts in each of our communities. Access this resource to find out more about the NOCCs or to sign up for your local NOCC.
GOTC ToolKit: Created by the U.S. Bureau, this toolkit is designed to offer tools and resources for effective on the ground organizing, education, and outreach in your community.
Digital Equity Lab: This resource is the perfect place to get any question you have related to “the digital census” answered. The manual will also help to adequately prepare your organization to be a digital census host.
Census Counts resources: The Census Counts Resource Library has resources to guide you in how to best organize and help get out the count for all of the various stakeholders in your communities. This library includes non-English language resources.
Census jobs: The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring thousands of people for various positions during the 2020 Census. Apply here!
Maps of Hard to Count Communities: This map shows the self-response rates of historically undercounted communities. It will be updated live as people begin taking the Census so that you can see how your community is doing.
Count Us In: Count Us In provides a myriad of resources including a Census podcast, a robust Census FAQ, and specific resources for ensuring a fair and accurate count in Asian-American communities.
Census Bureau outreach toolkit: The U.S. Census Bureau created a toolkit to help prepare you and your organization for outreach; it also provides a clear and concise ‘Census 101’ FAQ.
CRE’s Teach-in Toolkit: In order to continue to create buy-in and to continue to spread the word about the Census in your communities, this toolkit has everything you need to know to plan and host your very own teach-in, including “how to” guides, and a social media toolkit.