In these final days of May, as the pandemic’s passage becomes endless and we are getting used to living with this malignant and surprising virus, we were struck by the ingenious way in which the 2020 Census has been promoted in Hartford. The Municipality launched a contest for people who want to make a video on social networks promoting the census and offering prizes of up to $ 1,000 in gifts. Of course, it is not by chance, Hartford occupies one of the last places in average of answers (41.3%) when that of the State as a whole is 63.8%.
This activity is not the first in Connecticut, as on May 8 in New Haven, Mayor Justin Elicker himself and his city’s Census Committee joined in a motorcade with live music and gifts for families and promised do other tours. Also, in this case, the great motivation is the low response of its people (47.2%).
Fun fact is that Connecticut ranks 13th in nationwide responses, above most popular states like New York, Florida or Arizona. It must also be understood that these States are much more populated and have more extensive territories. But reviewing the current data from our State, it is clear that the cities where Hispanics have the most population have the fewest responses to the Census. And this should not be surprising due to the fact that giving personal information worries anyone, and in the case of the undocumented, for example, things are more complicated, fear exists and is justifiable, even more so in the climate created since Trump’s arrival, and its administration to power.
In any case, it is good to remind those who have not yet filled out the Census, that this is a matter of Law, which is carried out every 10 years and that it must be as accurate as possible, since its results have an impact on federal funds for the communities and the representation in the Congress of each city. The data will inform how the millions of dollars in funds will be distributed each year, and the impact on communities over the next decade. Something very important which must be repeated to the point of exhaustion, also by law, the Census Bureau is obliged to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. Furthermore, all employees who are involved with the Census take an oath to protect personal information for life.
Finally, as an independent means of communication, we have to mention that the advertising of the Census 2020 at the local level has been scarce and even less in our language, Spanish.