Greater Milwaukee Complete Count Committee Holds Community Kick-Off to Prepare for the 2020 Census
October 29, 2019
MILWAUKEE, WI – Mayor Tom Barrett joined the Greater Milwaukee Complete Count Committee (CCC) on October 28 to begin the hard work needed to ensure all households are counted in the 2020 Census. Mayor Barrett spoke alongside Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Marilyn Sanders, Regional Director of the U. S. Census Bureau Chicago Regional Office, Dr. Chia Youyee Vang, Associate Vice Chancellor and Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and residents Yolanda Perkins and Iuscely Flores.
“We are less than 6 months away from the 2020 Census. I want every household in the greater Milwaukee County area to take part, and I want to engage as many residents as possible to help make sure every resident is counted,” said Mayor Barrett.
Every 10 years, the United States conducts a census - or count of the entire population - as required by the U. S. Constitution. The next census will begin in mid-March 2020. The Census Bureau will mail postcards inviting every household to complete a brief census survey. The deadline to respond is April 1, 2020: Census Day.
“Census data is critical to our families’ futures and the next generation. The more people we count means more federal money and fairer elections,” said Mayor Barrett. “Congress allocates more than $675 billion annually based on census data. Wisconsin receives $12.6 billion alone – funding for education, housing, health, transportation and more.” Census data is used to decide the number of representatives each state gets in Congress and for drawing the boundaries for election districts at the federal, state and local levels – a process known as redistricting.
Mayor Barrett formed the CCC to create census awareness in every neighborhood in the city and county and provide targeted outreach and messaging tailored to historically undercounted populations. These populations include people of color, people who speak English as a second language, foreign-born, low-income, elderly, LGBTQ+ residents and single parent households.
The CCC is led by the Department of Administration and chaired by Sharon Robinson, Administration Director. Matt Dannenberg, Census Director at Wisconsin Voices is co-chair. The CCC is comprised of government, business, education, faith-based and other community leaders. The Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC) - the mayor, village president or administrator from each of the 19 municipalities inside Milwaukee County – is one of many CCC partner organizations.
"It is important that we encourage residents from every city, village and town in the Milwaukee County area to take part in the 2020 Census. Many funding and grant opportunities for municipalities are based on Census data and the participation of every household is very important. We all matter and are stronger together,” said City of Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley and ICC member.
Other lead CCC partner organizations include: Milwaukee Urban League, Milwaukee Public Schools, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, Hmong Chamber of Commerce, Hmong American Women’s Association, Hope House, Pastors United, Milwaukee Re-Entry Council and Consulate of Mexico in Milwaukee.
Mayor Barrett emphasized the importance of breaking down barriers and perceived barriers that may keep households from returning their 2020 Census survey. “The myth that census information is public or shared with other government agencies is false. It is against the law for the Census Bureau to share any private information that identifies an individual or their address with other government agencies,” said Mayor Barrett.
Karina Blas, Deputy Consul of the Mexican Consulate of Milwaukee, added: “The community we represent is relying on an accurate census count. Taking the census is safe, required by law and protects our power. It’s critical that every person participate in the census regardless of their status. Fair political representation and access for vital public services depend on it.”
For the first time in history, residents may respond to the census online but will still have the option to respond by mail or telephone. At the kick-off event residents learned how to take part in the census, pledged to be counted, found out how to get involved with the CCC and applied for census jobs. The event was free and open to the public.
Additionally, Barrett announced the launch of an informative local website as part of the CCC’s proactive census awareness efforts. Titled, “2020 Census – Together We Count,” the website address is: city.milwaukee.gov/2020Census. The website serves as a convenient one-stop online resource to help residents get helpful information they can use as they get ready to fill out their 2020 Census survey and help raise census awareness. It is also a good tool for receiving updates on census job recruitment and hiring.
Wisconsin ranked #1 in responses in the 2010 Census. Filling out the survey and returning it on time will help maintain our state’s top standing and will reduce the need for door-to-door visits to non-responsive households by census workers.