Below is a listing of concerns that may impact the number of people who respond to the Census survey in Buffalo and WNY communities:
Most households will be asked to respond to the Census online, rather than with a mailed paper form. With internet access not being wide-spread throughout our community, many individuals you serve will need access to technology in order to complete the Census survey.
The survey is not translated into three of the top seven languages spoken in Buffalo (either online or over-the-phone). Working with local translators and community groups will be critical to ensure our refugee, immigrant, and New American neighbors are not forgotten.
Many individuals fear their responses will be shared with law enforcement or other governmental officials. While this is a real fear, share that all responses are protected and confidential. Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect responses and can be charged with a felony, 5 years imprisonment, and/or a $250,000 fine for sharing personal information. Responses collected by the Census survey cannot be shared with immigration enforcement agencies (like ICE), law enforcement agencies (FBI and local police), or can be it used to determine eligibility for government benefits. The results from the Census survey are reported in statistical format only.
Families are not recording information about their children on the Census. Children under the age of 5 are one of the hardest to count populations on the Census survey. Every individual living in their household should be counted, including newborns, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, as so much of federal funding is based on the number of children counted in a community.
Concerns about the questions asked on the Census survey have created severe mistrust in many communities. There is NO citizenship question, but mistrust continues. The following questions are asked on the Census survey:
the number of people living in the household;
whether the house, apartment, or mobile home is rented or owned;
your telephone number, only used if needed for official U.S. Census Bureau business;
information about each person living in the residence (name, sex, date of birth, ethnicity, and race)
Talk about the Census at your ongoing events or meetings with clients. Share information about the Census throughout your building.
Take a group to one of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries or request one of their training labs. The library system will provide space and resources for groups to complete the Census. Schedule a visit to a local branch or reserve their portable training lab of 12 laptops, contact 716-858-7384 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Host a Census Party to make filling out the Census fun.
Reach out to a Census Partnership Specialist who can provide valuable and free information for you to distribute to the communities you serve. You can contact Amy Brombos at 716-335-6416 or email@example.com
Door-to-door canvassing can help raise awareness, educate residents, and counter misinformation.
Join us live on Wednesdays at NOON from April 1 - May 27 by going to https://bit.ly/censuslive or checking into Instagram LIVE or Facebook LIVE.
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