Spread the Word: Lift Up DC’s Census Response Rate

Every DC resident counts. Yet too many are not responding to the 2020 Census, and the deadline for completion has been moved forward to September 30. The District’s response rate (59.7 percent) lags the national average by three percentage points. Even more worrying, there is a huge gap in response rates within the District. Less than 50 percent of Ward 8 households have responded compared to over 70 percent in Ward 3. An undercount disproportionately impact African Americans, immigrants and households with young children.

An undercount would hit the DC budget hard. Billions of federal dollars are at stake. One-quarter of the DC budget comes from federal funding. Census data informs funding for healthcare, schools, job assistance, public transportation, affordable housing, Medicaid, SNAP and so much more. In the fiscally tight COVID era, the District needs all the money it can get.

It’s not too late to respond to the 2020 Census, and it’s never been easier to respond. You can get counted online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet someone in person. It takes ten minutes. All households that do not self-respond will be visited by a US Census taker who will collect the information in person. They should not wait for a knock on the door. Participation in the census is required by law. It’s safe, easy and confidential. The safest and best thing everyone can do for our community is self-respond to the 2020 Census at 2020census.gov.

We have tailored specific tasks that Trustees can use to share in their networks:

For Property Mangers/Owners:
Property managers are critical to the success of the 2020 Census. You can raise awareness and increase response rates. Please share information with your tenants and urge them to complete the census as soon as possible online at 2020census.gov. All non-response units will be visited by a US Census taker. Please be prepared to provide census takers access to your properties to help tenants complete their form if they haven’t already done so. The safest and best option for your tenants and properties, is for every household to self-respond.

For Employers:
You can send the following email:

It’s not too late to complete the 2020 Census. If you have already done so, thank you for your commitment to your community. If you haven’t completed you census, please take 10 minutes on XXDay/time to do so. [Employers can promote a specific day/time]. It’s safe, easy and confidential. Your personal information will never be shared with law enforcement or your employer. Take a break, and take 10 minutes to complete the census. Even while we are social distancing, we can do this together for our community.

 For all Trustees:

  • Add a Census reminder and add a link on your homepage or any high trafficked websites. It can say “It’s not too late to get counted!  Complete the census now 2020census.gov
  • Promote the Census on social media at least once a week, if not more, through Sep 30.
  • Promote the Census via email, text alerts to customers or clients or other networks.
  • Ask your property manager to promote the Census in their buildings with tests, emails, newsletters, door hangers or posters.
  • Ask your employer to hold a “Take a break, take the census” day/time for all employees who still need to complete the census.
  • Promote the Census with any local partners such as schools, non-profits etc

Sample Social Media Content:

  • If you haven’t filled out the #2020Census just yet, staff will visit your home to help you complete it. Don’t want a visit? Make sure you do the Census as soon as possible. Visit https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020 TODAY. #GetCountedDC
  • The last day to respond to the #2020Census is now Sept 30. Help make sure DC’s get the funding we deserve for the next ten years by participating. Own your power and visit https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020 TODAY. #GetCountedDC
  • Everyone, regardless of any particular status (immigration, income, age, etc.) can and should complete the #2020Census. Participation is vital to provide our communities with the resources we deserve. Visit https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020.
  • Do you want to help make a change in your neighborhood? Start by filling out the #2020Census. The Census impacts funding for local services, and how Ward and ANC boundaries are updated. Visit https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020 TODAY.
  • The #2020Census is 10 questions in 10 minutes to shape our city  for the next 10 years—do you know how to make sure we get our fair share? Learn more and participate TODAY at https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020. #GetCountedDC
  • Starting August 6th,  the US Census will being in person visits to every household that hasn’t self-responded to collect information.  They will visit a house up to 6 times if there is no response. Don’t want to complete the census in person?   Self-respond now. Visit https://my2020census.gov/ or call 844-330-2020.
  • What does a US Census taker look like?  US Census takers work from 9am-9pm and will present an ID badge with their name, photo, Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. Always ask to see ID. Find out if census takers are in your area by texting “DOOR” to 442020.