CAMDEN, NJ– Water ice free gifts. Outdoor pop-up tables. And cameos at coronavirus test websites, outdoor markets and city gatherings. Camden has been hard at work to make certain everybody is counted in the 2020 Census.
“We are presently working with enumerators to reach some of our hard-to-count locations like housing complexes, which can be hard to gain access to because of COVID policies. It's unfair we're at 40%, considering the significance of this count, but we will continue to work diligently” Mayor Frank Moran informed TAPinto Camden on Wednesday, noting that his office has assisted post billboards, get the word out on social media and promote census participation on the radio.
“It's a matter of life and death for us, as there is federal money we depend on and anticipate for our neighborhood,” he said.
As much as $675 billion in every year allocated funds depends upon a precise count across the United States. Those funds touch on all sectors of public life including health, education, transportation improvements, roadway facilities, hospitals, companies and more.
Camden already has an uphill struggle when it pertains to the census, with various “tough to count” populations such as undocumented individuals, the homeless population and kids under 5.
This year in addition to the coronavirus pandemic, local leaders assisting to advocate for the census– like Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez– have handled the additional barrier of a shortened schedule. In August, the U.S. Census Bureau also stated it would stop counting efforts Sept. 30 (a month prior than at first set).
“First and foremost, the best thing to do is extend it,” stated Moran. “One of the other challenges we're facing is people are reluctant to fill it out because of rhetoric out of Washington D.C.”
In July, Moran referred to a memorandum by President Donald Trump to seemingly discount the undocumented as “absolutely outrageous.”
“I'm saddened [about where we are] but I also comprehend. With COVID, Camden city and other city areas around the state are in the same scenario as far as being undercounted,” Moran stated.
The mayor said many in the dense city– hit the hardest by the coronavirus out of any municipality in Camden County with over 2,700 cases— typically decline to open the door to strangers.
He said the option to that is stopping resident's worries about the procedure, which can be completed in minutes online, over the phone or via mail.
The United States Census Bureau guarantees visitors to its website that it will never ask for a person's Social Security number, money, donations, anything on behalf of a political party or their bank or credit card number.
Additionally, census files stay sealed for 72 years following the count.
Amongst the questions are the variety of individuals living or staying in your home, whether your house is owned or leased, the sex, age and race of each person in your house, whether the person in your home is Hispanic, Latino or of Spanish origin, and the relationship of everyone in your house.
Moran said those who have currently filled out the census in Camden can do more on their part by connecting to household and next-door neighbors in order to speak to how easy the process is.
“It's absolutely safe, the info is not shared with anybody,” Moran said. “This is a 10-year sentence you trouble yourself and your city, and it's important to look after it right away.”
To check for updates on future city occasions related to the census click on this link.
Winslow non-profit Dreams of Tomorrow (DOT) will host an outdoor movie night/Census participation drive Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Organizers will screen “Jumanji: The Next Level,” supply snacks and help guests submit the census and register to vote.
“We are lacking time, however it is not too late to react to the Census,” stated Rodriguez, who is likewise liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services. “You can complete the Census for your family in less time than it requires to watch the opening trailers at a movie theater. It is fast, its safe, and it's extremely easy.”
The event will be held at the Winslow Center (510 Williamstown Road) in Winslow Township. Guests, who must wear a face mask and social distance, are encouraged to bring a chair.
To complete the census visit www.2020census.gov. You can also call (844-330-2020 English; 844-468-2020 Spanish), or fill out the survey through mail.