State, Local Leaders Make Final Push To Have Public Fill Out 2020 Census

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On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court made the decision to not extend the deadline for the 2020 Census.

By Wednesday, city and state leaders began making a last-minute push to get more people to fill out the census before the deadline which is Friday, October, 16 at 6 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz along with other state leaders voiced their frustration with the Supreme Court's latest decision to not extend the deadline for the 2020 Census on Wednesday.

"The issue is that hard-count communities like Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury may still be counted," said Bysiewicz. "Cities, Urban Areas, and communities of color could lose congressional seats and electoral votes as a result."

Since July, census workers have been working to get households to complete the census that leaders say is critical for representation and federal funding.

While Connecticut has a state total of 70.6% self-response rate, individual cities and towns have much lower rates. At the same time, the state has a 99.9% non-response follow-up rate. This statistic means the number of census workers coming to the front door of every household. 2020 census experts believe the lower rates can still make a big difference.

"The implications are the census is used to make decisions at the federal level for the 10 years that affect funding at the state level and the local level," said Jason Black, who works with the Community Renewal Team, a civic group which has made its mission to get more people to fill out the census. "The potential is there that it could result in really serious and devastating budget cuts for programs and services that people need and rely upon every single day."

Those services include SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and CT's energy assistance program which is designed to help people pay for their home heating costs. The number of Congressional seats and electoral votes are also at stake.

"The undercount threatens the ability of communities of color in our state recover from this health crisis and the economic catastrophe," said Bysiewicz.

Hartford Luke Bronin is encouraging those inside and near the Capital City to take advantage of another opportunity to let your voice be heard.

"Let this be your form of protest, stand up and say no, we want a full and accurate count," said Bronin. "We've got a day to get as full as accurate account as we can and we're asking our whole community to stand up and be counted.

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