Jackson community leaders are joining forces for a special video message to encourage residents to complete the 2020 Census and “be counted”. The video message, which was recorded over the online Zoom platform and produced by the City of Jackson, features 12 community leaders from local organizations talking about the importance of the Census to Jackson.
The 2 minute video is available on YouTube and will be posted to the City’s social media platforms throughout Friday. The goal of the video message is to remind residents about why it’s important to participate in the national count and how responses impact funding for important community programs.
The following community leaders spoke in the video message:
- Carolyn Bloodworth, Consumers Energy Foundation
- Angela Shepherd, Region 2 Area Agency on Aging
- Julie Wetherby, Region 2 Area Agency on Aging
- Molly Kaser, Center for Family Health
- Rashmi Travis, Jackson County Health Department
- Jon Hart, disAbility Connections
- Myeshia Jones, Henry Ford Allegiance Health
- Regina Pinney, Nonprofit Network
- Mayor Derek Dobies, City of Jackson
- Karyl Baker, Jackson Pride Center
- Aaron Dimick, City of Jackson
- Sara Tackett, Jackson District Library
Right now, the City of Jackson has a 62 percent response rate compared to a 69 percent response rate in Jackson County and a statewide response rate of 68 percent. Several Census tracts in the City are below or slightly above a 50 percent response rate. The video message is part of an effort from the City of Jackson to increase Census participation.
This week the City is reaching thousands of residents through automated phone calls, emails and text messages that feature City Councilmembers urging residents to complete the Census. The City’s social media platforms have been flooded with Census information on how residents can respond and see the response rates in their neighborhoods.
Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick says due to the COVID-19 pandemic, normal Census outreach like events and help centers are not options. “We’re looking for ways to reach residents virtually to remind them that the important work of the Census continues,” Dimick said. “While this is the first year residents can complete the Census online, we know not everyone has internet access. Calling the Census phoneline at 844-330-2020 or sending in paper forms that were mailed to homes are other ways to respond.”
The Census deadline has been extended to Oct. 31, 2020. Residents in low response areas could see Census workers going door-to-door later this summer.