Participation for Census 2020 is in the upmost importance.
The 2020 Census is well on its way to begin sending their invitations to each household on Thursday, March 12. With the Census using important data from the residents, the community wants to know why is the Census so important to them.
March 9, 2020 the Census Complete Count Committee along with The Richland County Foundation hosted a meeting with the local African American business owners and stakeholders between the ages of 18-35 to bring the importance of participating in the Census.
Some that were in attendance were; Jodi Perry, Supt. Jefferson, and Winston Greene with the local business owners to bring awareness to the cause.
A lot of questions were brought to light from the people in the community. Concerns about confidentiality were also addressed in this meeting. A concern expressing how the elderly in this community are not getting the information in enough time to be aware of the Census and the data it is used for. Cynthia Baker of Shiloh Full Gospel attended the meeting to advocate for the elderly and the faith based community. "If we give people a WARNING" about the Census so elderly people can prepare. We all count and we all matter. Give people something tangible to look at", Cynthia explained when the Census committee opened the floor for ideas to get more people involved.
In light of these concerns, the Census committee talked about Census Sunday, March 27th, for churches in Richland County to talk about the importance of participating to their congregation.
Other concerns and questions came from some of the local barbers in the community. Confidentiality is an issue in the community and residents are skeptical to give their personal information to the government. Another issue is that the Census is not relatable enough to the community members to want to participate. "Tie stories with heart strings, and the the growth will be made. We (Richland County) need to know why is the Census to important to us?" -Brennan Robinson from Brennan Barber Shop and Shave Parlor.
The goal of this meeting was to get input of the residents that live, work, and raise their families in this community every day. Now that the conversation has started, more ideas to bring awareness of what the Census can help with will gain more participation from the community.