Respond To Census, Group Says

‘Black Voices Count’ Theme Of Advocates

Mayor David Holt and a citizens group are encouraging residents to respond to the census.

“Everyone should respond to the 2020 Census right away,” a citizens group said.

“Respond to it now—by mail, by phone or online—to make sure that Oklahoma City gets its fair share of federal dollars and that the Black community is correctly represented.”

“Most households in America should have received by mail information from the federal Bureau of the Census on how to respond to the census,” the statement said.

“Anyone can complete the questionnaire online at my2020census.gov with or without the letter, the statement pointed out.

“A complete and accurate count of Oklahoma City residents is critical,” the group’s statement continued.

“Experts estimate each household that doesn’t complete the census survey costs our community about $1,675 in local federal funding per person, per year for 10 years,” it was said.

“The census helps determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow each year into states and communities, health clinics, fire departments and schools,” commented Mayor David Holt.

“Even roads and highways are affected by the census.”

“This is our once-in-a-decade chance to receive the funding our community needs,” the mayor continued.

“The census is more than a count.  It’s an opportunity to help shape the future of our city.”

“The response rate in Oklahoma City is currently 34.8 percent, which is slightly above the national average,” the mayor noted.

 The city of Oklahoma City wants everyone in the community to be to be included in the census,” he said.

“Support for many community services is impacted by the census, including, but not limited to:  breakfast and lunch programs for schools, Medicare and Medicaid, transit, Head Start programs, highways, hospitals and Pell grants for college students.”

The 2020 Census Response Outreach Area Mapper application was developed to make it easier to identify and gain insight into historically hard-to-survey areas. According to ROAM data, northeast Oklahoma City is a historically undercounted population in our community. This year, it’s especially important to the city that “Black Voices Count.”

“It is time to change our historic under representation in Oklahoma City,” City Councilwoman Nikki Nice (Ward 7) commented.   

“By taking the census, we are ensuring African-American voices count.

“More than one in three African-Americans live in hard-to-count census tracts. Our communities that aren’t counted often have the most to lose.

“Programs that impact Blacks through the census count include education, childcare, food benefits, nutrition programs, healthcare and housing.”

“The census asks nine simple questions, like how many people are living or staying in the home on April 1, whether a home is owned or rented and the age of everyone in the household,” Mayor Holt noted.

“The census will not ask for a Social Security number, citizenship status, bank accounts or any questions on behalf of a political party,” he pointed out.

 Federal law requires the federal Bureau of the Census to keep responses confidential and protect the data, the mayor noted.

“It also requires everyone to be counted in the census,” he said.

More information about the census in Oklahoma City is available online at okc.gov/census.

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