What can we do?
Are you a trusted messenger? Think about communities you’re connected to: geographic, cultural, religious, campus student groups, or other communities. Are you a trusted messenger in those spaces? If the census matters to you, you may be able to help others in those communities get information about and participate in the upcoming census. On the other hand, there is so much distrust about the census that it can actually be harmful for “outsiders” to enter communities where they do not have pre-existing trusting relationship to try to help people participate in the census. Self-awareness and reflection are important first steps prior to deciding how to be helpful.
- Work for the Census. These are part-time jobs that can be done in the evening or weekend and pay well. The Census Bureau particularly needs people with language skills and relationships in their own communities who can help achieve a complete count. Due to the low unemployment rate, the Census is working hard to fill these positions. If part-time work in your own community could be a fit for you, consider applying. (More information here.)
- Talk to friends, family, and neighbors about the 2020 Census. A lot of people just don’t know the Census is coming, and once they understand how important it is to their communities and that others they trust think it matters, they do, too.
- Commit to Count Table. Set up a table on campus before the Census to provide information, have people commit to participate in the Census, and write reminder postcards to have sent to themselves.
- Host a Dialogue. On campus or in the community, use this small group dialogue guide to have a conversation with others about your experiences, hopes, fears, and expectations about the census.
- Help people complete the Census form. If you’re a trusted member of a community, you could be an important helper. Libraries, schools, and other familiar and trusted community centers can be places where neighbors access computers and get help completing the Census form for their household.
- Join a Complete Count Committee. Across the state, people are coming together to form Complete Count Committees (CCC). You can form a CCC around a physical or interest community, or connect to one that already exists. Learn about CCCs here. List of Complete Count Committees across the country: https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/2020-complete-count-committees.html
- Contact a local library or League of Women Voters. Organizations such as libraries and local LWV chapters are organizing to support complete census counts. Find one near you and reach out to see if you can support their efforts.