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Hartford to Hold Census Day of Action to Increase Struggling Response Rate

Collecting accurate Census data has significant impact on the Hartford region and the state as it determines how billions of federal dollars are distributed each year to support schools, hospitals, first responders, Medicare and Medicaid, housing, school food programs, senior programs, WIC, childcare, roads and highways and much more. Census data is used to determine how many representatives we have in state and federal government. Unfortunately, many neighborhoods in urban communities struggle to get residents to complete the Census. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and concerns over the failed effort to include a citizenship question in the Census, this year is proving to be an even greater challenge.  In fact, Hartford’s self-response rate is currently the lowest among the New York region cities with populations of 100,000+.

In an effort to increase Census participation in Hartford, the U.S. Census Bureau and nonprofit organizations throughout the city are participating in Hartford’s Census Day of Action on Wednesday, June 24. Volunteers are encouraging people to fill out the Census and to join the CALL FIVE campaign.

CALL FIVE asks people to call at least five friends, family members or neighbors to see how they are managing the COVID-19 pandemic and to ask them if they have filled out their Census questionnaire. If they haven’t, the CALL FIVE volunteers will explain that completing the Census is safe, easy and important and inform them about the various ways they can participate. The Census can be filled out online on a computer or smartphone, at or over the phone at 844-330-2020 in English and 12 other languages. Before they end the call, people are asked if they could call five additional people to check in and ask about the Census.

Two of the organizations participating in this effort are the Hartford Public Library and Hartford Next who are collaborating on an effort to reach out to thousands of Hartford residents. If members of the media are interested in interviewing representatives from the Hartford Public Library and taking photos or shooting video of people making calls, the Library is offering two locations and timeframes:

  • Hartford Public Library’s Campfield branch, 30 Campfield Avenue: 10 am-12 noon
  • Hartford Public Library’s Albany branch, 1250 Albany Avenue: 12 noon-2pm