Local officials push Northeast Ohioans to complete 2020 Census

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP/WJW) — The U.S. Census Bureau has cut its schedule for data collection for the 2020 Census a month short as legislation that would have extended the national head count’s deadlines stalls in Congress. Cuyahoga County officials say it is crucial that all citizens complete their census ahead of the new deadline.

The Census Bureau said late Monday that the door-knocking and ability for households to respond either online, by phone or by mail to the questionnaire will stop at the end of September instead of the end of October so that it can meet an end-of-the-year deadline to turn in numbers used for redrawing congressional districts.

As of Monday, 37% of U.S. households hadn’t yet responded to the census questionnaire. Some of the 500,000 door knockers hired by the Census Bureau have begun visiting those households, but they weren’t expected to go out in force until next week.

Cuyahoga County officials are encouraging Ohioans to complete their census as soon as possible.

County Executive Armond Budish says having an accurate census count is important as the census provides data that informs funding for almost every support the county provides to its most vulnerable populations.

The count also effects Ohio’s representation in Congress and the statehouse.

Currently, Cuyahoga County’s 2020 Census participation rate is 63.7 percent, Budish reports. He says that trails behind several other counties that house major cities including Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Wayne (Detroit), Erie (Buffalo), Milwaukee, Baltimore, Hennepin (Minneapolis) and many others.

Cleveland reportedly has the lowest response rate among the nation’s largest cities.

Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councilman Blaine A. Griffin and the Greater Cleveland alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority are working with community partners to help Northeast Ohioans complete their census and register to vote.

Clevelanders are encouraged to stop by the “Community Check-Up” event on Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Harvey Rice Wraparound School on E. 116th Street or at the Cleveland Public Library’s Harvey Rice Branch on Shaker Boulevard.

Those in attendance can get counted in the 2020 Census, register to vote in Ohio’s General Election, receive fresh produce and get tested for COVID-19.

The event is free. Attendees are asked to register online. Masks are required to participate.

Additionally, Ohioans can complete their twelve question 2020 Census by calling (844) 330-2020 or online at My2020Census.gov.

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