BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced Wednesday that although he’s happy to see a boost in census participation from city residents in recent weeks, there are others that still need to take 10 minutes to respond.
“The census is more important than ever during Covid-19,” Young said. “Every person that’s counted mean $18,000 over a 10-year period to fund programs like the food distribution sites, unemployment and temporary assistance, Medicare and Medicaid and community development block grants.”
He said they are ramping up the city’s efforts to boost the census response after the announcement that counting would be cut a month short.
He was “disheartened” to learn that the U.S. Census Bureau will be ending its data-collecting operation on Sept. 30, one month earlier than originally planned.
The mayor issued a call-to-action to all elected officials and community leaders to get out and make sure their neighbors have filled out their census form.
The City said it will provide iPads and more PPE to try to increase the count.
Historically, the City is undercounted, leaving thousands of dollars of federal funding on the table.
“If you don’t have a good count you can’t prove that you need the money for that many people,” said Susan Anderson, a Roland Park resident.
53 percent of city households have completed the census questionnaire so far.
Quiana White said she thinks many don’t understand why it’s important to their communities.
“More and more people don’t know what the census is about and it’s not explained more as far as where the funds are going to,” said White, a Druid Hill Park resident.
“During these trouble times we understand how stressful it may be, but you are so important that history needs to document your presence,” said one community leader from Broadway East. “Let your voice speak for you in a written form by filling out the census and understanding your role in history.”
The City is facing a decline in revenue but Mayor Young said an accurate count could help it recover more adequate federal funding and that’s why they’re making this push.
“Let’s finish strong Baltimore,” he said.
The mayor’s office has been working to make sure the city’s immigrant community also fills out the census and they are setting up stations in targeted neighborhoods like Highlandtown, Greektown and more.
They are also putting out announcements in multiple languages to reach every community but called on churches, religious institutions, community organizations and more to reach out to their community and make sure they are filling out the census.
The mayor also reminded residents to answer the door should Census employees come knocking.
They will have identification and PPE on when working. You can also respond to the census by calling 844-330-2020 or filling it out online at my2020census.gov.
Watch the press conference below: