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Despite Shutdowns Community Leaders Rallied to Kick off the 2020 Census and Emphasize the Importance of Being Counted
By Saybin Roberson, Contributing Writer
Published March 19, 2020

Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson addressing the crowd despite cancellations (Courtesy Photo)

Several organizations gathered to celebrate the upcoming Census at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. While changes to the schedule had to be made, that didn’t stop over 10 organizations from Los Angeles county from kicking off the 2020 Census Experience.

The interactive pop-up included a branded van, photo booth, art installation and multiple iPads allowing residents to sign the census and merchandising. The goal of the experience: educate, motivate and activate residents to be counted.

“The Los Angeles Community has been a really hard to count county. And so you know, 10 years from 2010 to 2020, things that are happening differently one first time ever that we have the online option to count the census. Additionally investing the funding to do something that’s really fun and engaging and not so scary,” Preeya Patel, the director of Production at Becore.

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“We created this campaign around motivating people, which is about making them understand what the census is and why it’s important and why your voice should be heard.”

Their goals included removing any misconceptions surrounding the census count and inspiring them to take action while visiting the experience. However, with recent shutdowns due to coronavirus, the 2020 Census Experience is now canceled as it was to be placed at various festivals and events through July, but that didn’t stop the community from rallying.

Although the interactive experience has been placed on hold, the census is still extremely important which was the main emphasis of the kick-off.

“We are here, still sticking around despite what initially started off with a big launch press conference; we’re still here,” one leader said. “We’re still here to say our communities are going to be counted; we deserve to be counted. We are not going to continue to be erased and we refuse to keep having the label of being the ‘hardest to count county in the nation,’”

While other government officials canceled to handle issues surrounding the virus, one, in particular, decided the census was just as important.

Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson was in attendance to help push forward advocating for the count in both communities. “Long Beach, big city, second largest city in the county. Half a million residents, second largest Black population and county and we have a responsibility to step up on this regional conversation,” he stated.

“My role here is to stand up and make sure that Long Beach sends the right message to other cities. The 191 Southern California cities in the region. The 88 cities in the county. that this is incredibly important and we have the responsibility to participate.”

Although many things have changed in society, the Census can still be filled out online and there are tons of people rooting and still available to help those in need ensure they are counted.

“If you think about it, it only takes five minutes. Five minutes to make sure that you are counted,” another leader stated. “Five minutes, make sure that we have adequate health care. Five minutes to make sure that we have adequate schools and five minutes to make sure that we have the resource we need to serve our diverse population.”

To fill out the 2020 Census visit https://my2020census.gov/.

Categories: COVID-19 | Family | Local | News | News (Family)
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