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The U.S. Census...
...is required under the U.S. Constitution to occur every ten years and is the process of counting every resident in the country. For the first time ever, in 2020, the Census will be primarily digitally based.
Why it Matters
The U.S. Census data is used to make decisions around education, healthcare, infrastructure, and political representation. With increased growth in the country, getting an accurate and complete count of every person living within is crucial to ensure that each state receives funding to support the number of residents in each state. This Census the focus continues to be on reaching hard to count communities and ensuring these communities get included in the Census count.
The vital importance of the census includes determining Ohio’s share of about $33.5 billion in federal dollars, the number of seats in Congress, population for drawing legislative districts, and the number of votes Ohio gets in the electoral college. This George Washington Institute of Public Policy report details federal programs that depend upon census figures.
What we’re doing
The LWVGC will be leveraging our membership and presence in targeted hard to count suburbs in Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga County Planning commission has identified the cities of Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, East Cleveland and Euclid as having the highest anticipated concentration of low to no response to the 2020 census. Some census tracts in Cleveland are anticipated to have some of the lowest response rates in the country.
The League’s Census work will occur in three phases:
- Get Out the Count activities
- Watchdog reporting
In the months leading up to Census Day — April 1, 2020 — the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland will be out in communities throughout Cuyahoga County (including Cleveland) sharing information and resources about how to participate and the importance of the U.S. Census. On Census Day, the League will work in coalition to help get everyone counted; work with the Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Complete Count Committees; share information about low-reporting areas; and communicate where additional support is needed. Once the Census wraps up in the Summer/Fall of 2020, the League will remain in communities and will watchdog any issues from the ground.