YMCA Hard To Count Initiative and the Know Your Rights Information Campaign
The Princeton Family YMCA is embarking on a campaign to promote high levels of participation in the 2020 Census, with a special focus on the Hard to Count (HTC) populations. Funded by a special grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the Y will mobilize volunteers to assist in achieving a correct, thorough, and inclusive count here in Princeton by educating residents and providing opportunities and support to complete the questionnaire.
The 2020 Census is committed to “counting everyone once, only once, and in the right place.” Achieving a complete and accurate count is critical for local communities to access resources, and central to this work is focusing on populations that are considered hard to count: young children, highly mobile people, racial and ethnic minorities, Non-English speakers, people who have few resources, undocumented immigrants, among others.
The HTC Initiative will utilize the Y’s many networks to convey critical information to residents who may fall into the hard-to-reach categories. The Y specifically plans to:
- recruit and organize volunteers to conduct a door-to-door educational campaign,
- host information sessions, and
- provide support for completing the census questionnaire online in March and April.
Volunteer opportunities will be updated and offered in the weeks ahead.
How is the Census data used and why is it important to have an accurate count?
Primary uses of the Census data are to apportion representation among states as mandated in the Constitution, draw congressional and state legislative districts, enforce voting rights and civil rights legislation, distribute federal dollars to state and support planning efforts of government, business and nonprofit entities.
The 2020 Census Timeline
On March 12, households will begin to receive official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. Census Day will be observed on April 1; the date by which every home will have received an invitation to participate. During the month of April, Census takers will begin visiting colleges and universities, senior centers and other locations where large groups of people reside together. In May and June, Census takers will visit homes that have not responded yet. In December, the Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.