Census Bureau to hold Charlottesville public information session on 2020 Census

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The Census Bureau will present Charlottesville’s first public information session about the 2020 Census on Sunday, March 1 starting at 3 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, 301 E. Jefferson Street.

The event, hosted by the CBI Social Action Committee and co-sponsored by Sin Barreras, is free and open to all and will feature:

  • Kathy O’Connell, the Census Bureau’s partnership specialist for Central Virginia, explaining the census-taking process, how to fill out the census form, why a full count is so critical, and what community members can do to help ensure its success. She will take questions from attendees at the end of her presentation.
  • Spanish language interpretation by Sin Barreras (which is also doing outreach to the local Latinx community).
  • Del. Sally Hudson (VA District 57, Charlottesville) making opening remarks
  • A representative from The Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) answering questions after the presentation concludes.

The program will also devote significant attention to concerns about undercounting some minority groups. The Census Bureau estimates that minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics, were undercounted by 1.5 million in 2010; The Urban Institute fears an even bigger undercount this year.

Hudson emphasizes that “Charlottesville is counting on all of us to fill out the Census. For each of our neighbors who go uncounted, our community could lose up to $20,000 in federal funding for schools, housing, and health care. We need all our community leaders to spread the word so we get the resources we need to invest in those critical programs for each other.”

Other topics to be addressed include:

  • the 2020 Census counts everyone, not just citizens (no citizenship question is asked)
  • for the first time, the census can be filled out by phone, by mail, or online at 2020census.gov
  • the census determines how many seats Virginia gets in the House of Representatives.

“Every person has a role to play in encouraging their neighbors, co-workers, and fellow community members to participate in the census” says the Census Bureau’s O’Connell. “Sharing messages on social media, engaging faith leaders and school leaders, distributing information to groups who might be less likely to respond, etc. Every action helps and moves us closer to a full and complete count.”

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