The mission of the 2020 Census is to count every single person in the United States without regard to age, immigration or citizenship status, whether or not someone is incarcerated or on parole, or whether they are facing homelessness. The Church’s goal is to use our presence in thousands of communities to help ensure that everyone is counted. Religious denominations and institutions are well-placed to reach historically hard-to-count populations, a critical goal of the Census Bureau. We can promote participation through our congregations and ministries.
Research shows that someone is more likely to take the census if they hear about it from someone they trust. Help shape the future of your community by learning about the census. The Presiding Bishop speaks to the importance of the census in a short video at https://episcopalchurch.org/files/ogr_2020_census_toolkit.pdf
WHY THE CENSUS IS IMPORTANT
The census has an impact on the implementation of federal programs that play important roles in our communities. The federal government also uses census data to determine funding levels for schools, infrastructure, and certain services delivered by state and local governments. The population data, particularly for children and the elderly, are also important for state and local governments in projecting what public services a region will need in the years to come.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
- Publicize the census and Census Bureau resources through social media campaigns, public service announcements, preaching on our social responsibilities, adult education forums, feeding programs, or anywhere you find an audience both within and beyond the Church. A number of resources are available at the following sites (not specific to Cincinnati), including materials in Spanish and other languages: https://www.greatercincycounts.com/additional-resources/f6bfbd79-0234-4365-a39a-508eefcc141e and https://www.greatercincycounts.com/additional-resources/e8f4dfde-a627-44f6-87b5-91b0ece40caa
- Help individuals fill out their census forms. If you host a community meal, food pantry, or any other program that brings community members to your church, you can set up a laptop and help people fill out their forms. Or volunteer with another organization that is helping with this task. Libraries are very engaged in this activity.
- Work for the Census. There are many part-time jobs available, paying between $20 and $24 per hour. For more information go to: https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html?cid=sem.ga:p:census.jobs:census.jobs:%2Bcensus%20%2Bwork&utm_source=sem.ga&utm_medium=p&utm_campaign=census.jobs&utm_content=census.jobs&utm_term=%2Bcensus%20%2Bwork
- Participate in Census Worship Weekend (March 27-29, 2019) – Host a coffee hour, parish meeting, or adult education forum to share information on the census. This weekend will be used by people of all faiths around the country to learn and share about the importance of the census. Learn more
- Share the benefits of an accurate census. Among other benefits, federal assistance is distributed using census data, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Learn more as the Office of Government Relations adds resources to their civic engagement webpage https://episcopalchurch.org/OGR/civic-engagement