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Census push continues despite COVID-19

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: July 29, 2020 05:23 PM
Created: July 29, 2020 05:08 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Organizers for "ROC Rally to Complete Count" say COVID-19 did not make Census 2020 go away. The push is still there to get everyone counted accurately especially in our Black and Brown neighborhoods.

Current count results show that not everyone is filling out their Census questionnaires in certain neighborhoods. Ibero's Ida Perez sees this happening especially in her community.

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"We're seeing right now that for example where I live in North East area with ZIP codes 14605, 14609, and 14621 you know it’s very low," Perez said.

She also says the pandemic has changed people's priorities, but fear in the immigrant and New American neighborhoods is still a challenge.

"I think one is the message," Perez said. "Who is bringing that message forward? Who are the people they can trust to say okay this is cool, we can do it you know that type of thing." 

Community leaders say there's also a big digital divide that has also been a big challenge for Census 2020. Not everyone is connected to the internet. Mayor Lovely Warren says libraries can help make a difference.

"Our libraries I believe will open in the next week or two, so we're hopeful that will help especially in areas of our city that have challenges with internet access," said Warren.

Door-to-door census data field collectors are expected to visit underserved communities in the upcoming weeks to help increase our local numbers. Community organizers will continue to push their message of getting counted.

Local award-winning Spoken Word Artist Anderson "Poetically Undefined" Allen said, "Black, LatinX, Indigenous, and New Americans let your presence be known on the Census, and do not let fear keep you from claiming the space as your own. We must be counted so our tax dollars come back and serve us."


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