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Louisville Officials Upping Effort To Encourage Local Participation In 2020 Census

Fischer Census
Mayor Greg Fischer encourages participation in 2020 Census

With the official Census Day nearly a month away, Louisville officials are making an effort to increase local participation in the national survey. One of the things the results will determine is how much federal funding Louisville gets in the coming decade.

Teachers, faith and community leaders and government officials will observe Census Awareness Week March 1 through 7 with events and conversations to encourage more households to fill out the 10-year survey this spring.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Renee Murphy said the Census will determine funding for special education, after-school programs and school meals.

"That's 10 years worth of school supplies, 10 years worth of teachers and 10 years worth of school lunches," she said. "That's why this matters, so let's make this year count."

Census responses also determine how many members of the House of Representatives a state gets, since that is based on population.

Mayor Greg Fischer said some of the most frequently under-counted groups are African-American men, children under the age of five and immigrants.
He sought to reassure immigrants in particular that giving information to the Census is safe, particularly after the failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the survey.

"They might come from countries where they don't have high trust in government, and there might be some concern about privacy," he said.

He said Census data is confidential and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Households will receive letters inviting them to fill out the Census online in mid-March. They will also be able to respond by phone or mail.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.