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Organizations selected to conduct 2020 U.S. Census outreach

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Mayor's Office

The 13 nonprofits selected have each been granted $5,000 to $10,000 to reach "hard-to-count" populations in Boston

BOSTON - Friday, December 13, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced 13 local, non-profit organizations selected to receive grants to conduct outreach ahead of Census Day on April 1, 2020. These organizations have been awarded $5,000 to $10,000 to work to increase the participation in the Census through planning and grassroots strategies that will educate, raise awareness, and mobilize participation in communities at high risk of being undercounted.

"Ensuring an accurate, inclusive and equitable count of the Boston population is extremely important for assuring representation and services are reflective of the character of our City," said Mayor Walsh. "I am very thankful to these organizations who will lead in making sure that the communities in our City who are historically left out of the count, are instead included next year."

The grantees were selected because they are Boston-based nonprofit organizations servicing hard-to-count and historically undercounted communities. They applied by presenting a strategy of identifying geographic areas or demographic populations, and demonstrating a plan to reach them. Applicants will collaborate with the Mayor's Census Liaison throughout the process to ensure all groups are reached once their strategy is implemented. Grantees include: 

  • Asian American Resource Workshop

  • Brazilian Women's Group

  • Centro Presente

  • Chinese Progressive Association

  • City Life/Vida Urbana

  • Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council

  • Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI-USA)

  • Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC)

  • Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH)

  • Project R.I.G.H.T

  • The Boston Project Ministries

  • Union Capital Boston

  • Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID)

"Centro Presente would like to thank the City of Boston for investing the resources into organizations that are on the ground, working directly with the immigrant community to promote their participation in Census 2020," said Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente. "We are currently experiencing a moment when the fear and uncertainty under which many immigrants, both documented and otherwise, live has increased substantially. It's harder than ever to convince immigrants to stand up and be counted for the Census, but it is still critical that they do." 

"Black, Latino, and immigrant renters make up a majority of the city, and we deserve to be counted," said City Life/ Vida Urbana Executive Director Lisa Owens. "City Life is proud to work together with other neighborhood groups to make sure that all of our communities are represented." 

The City of Boston is ranked the ninth hardest to count city of the 100 largest cities in the United States. Across Massachusetts, Boston has the largest population of people living in areas categorized as "hard-to-count," based on the collection of the 2010 U.S. Census who have mail rates of return of 73 percent or less. Renters, recent immigrants, those who speak little or no English, children under age 5, people with lower incomes, or people living in group spaces such as college dorms, residential treatment centers, or nursing homes are most often measured as "hard-to-count."

The U.S. Census determines the number of U.S. House of Representatives for each state, the boundaries of local, state and federal legislative districts, and the total amount of funding each state receives. This informs how residents will be represented and the type of funding that Massachusetts will receive from the federal government to distribute to Boston. These evaluations are changed with information gathered from the U.S. Census, which is every ten years. 

Boston Counts 2020 is the citywide initiative to ensure an equitable, accurate and all-encompassing Census is tallied in the City of Boston. It supports the selected organizations to carry out their campaigns to ensure everyone in Boston is counted. Mayor Walsh recently appointed members to the City's Complete Count Committee, a group of cross-sector leaders that will work to ensure that all Boston residents are aware of the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, know why it's important, and are prepared to participate.

The U.S. Census has guides available in 60 languages for those filling out the questionnaire. In Boston, the top languages requested are Spanish, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole and Chinese.

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