By Mayor Martin Walsh
The Census Bureau has abruptly decided to cut their national counting operations a month short. The last day to participate in the U.S. 2020 Federal Census is now September 30, formerly October 31.
This announcement further jeopardizes Congressional representation, redistricting, and critical federal funding for things like education, housing, food programs, and more in Boston’s communities during the next 10 years. It could lead to a significant undercount, especially for renters, people of color, and immigrants. Only 53.5 percent of Boston’s households have responded to date, with some neighborhoods lagging behind.
This is why I’m once again asking everyone to fill out the Census AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, if you haven’t already. You can self-respond online (my2020census.gov), or by phone 844-330-2020, and these services are available in 13 different languages. A full list of language access hotlines can be found online. There’s also a resourceful FAQ page for any questions you may have.
As a reminder, the Census Bureau will send staff to your house and attempt to assist your household in-person if you have not yet responded. The best way to avoid this visit (should you not want it) is to self-respond immediately.
It takes just a few minutes and, please remember, your responses are safe and confidential. You will not be asked about immigration status, and your answers will not affect any public benefits you receive.
If you are interested in getting more involved to help Boston achieve a complete count, you can help in two ways:
• Spread the message digitally. Use our outreach toolkit to share that responding is not only crucial, but it is also safe, easy, and confidential. In the toolkit you will find messaging, sample social media text and graphics, infographic flyers and guides, PSA videos, and additional resources. Much of the content is in six languages.
• Volunteer to census phone bank with the City of Boston. We are hosting daily phone banks to reach out and encourage households in some of our lowest response neighborhoods.
We want to make sure that everyone gets counted, because in Boston, everyone counts. This is a time to make your voices heard, own your power, fight for your city, and help keep Boston strong for years to come.Martin Walsh is the Mayor of Boston.