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Community groups begin canvasing neighborhoods with low Census response
Editors Note: Please contact Tracey Lynn Pearson to arrange on-camera interviews of Census canvassing teams.
Starting today Census takers will begin door-to-door canvassing across Detroit at the homes of people who haven’t already answered Census questions by mail, online or by telephone. Canvassers plan to knock on 200,000 doors across communities that currently have low response rates.
Efforts will be concentrated in Southwest, the lower east side, north east side and Grand River corridor through the end of July with the goal of getting 4,000 households to complete the Census via secured devices carried by the Census takers.
The City of Detroit currently holds a 47% response rate, far below other cities comparable in size across the country. Census organizers hope residents will see the canvasing teams and use it as an opportunity to submit a complete Census response.
“Every Detroiter who does not fill out their census form, costs their neighbors $50,000 in these vital services over the next decade,” said Victoria Kovari, who is leading Detroit’s 2020 Census effort. “At a time like this, our community needs every resource it can get and we all owe it to each other to take 10 minutes to make a difference in our community for 10 years.”
Spotting a Census canvasser in your neighborhood
Authorized Census takers will largely be in bright yellow shirts with “CENSUS” across the front and carrying identification. Canvasing team members will have on masks and in some instances face shields as they travel through communities and approach homes.
When residents see a canvassing team they should feel confident that they can answer the door and complete the questionnaire with these individuals. Canvassers are trained to guide residents through completing the Census form and resident’s information will be secure.
To help City officials with the canvassing effort, a number of local organizations familiar with the target neighborhoods will be leading the effort. Initially, the City has commitments from 11 community groups to do canvassing. Those groups include:
- New Beginnings
- Hickory on the Move
- Black Caucus Foundation
- Cody Rouge CAA
- Peoples Action
- MACC Development
- Genesis Hope
- SW Detroit Environmental Vision
- Better Men Outreach
"We want to ensure that all Detroit residents are counted and run hard to the finish line. Our city is depending on us," said Kenyetta M. Campbell, a member of the Cody Rouge CAA.
Detroiters can fill out the Census from the comfort of their own home, by going online at my2020census.gov, or call the toll free number 844-330-2020 or complete using a paper form.
Tracey Lynn Pearson