MIAMI-DADE NONPROFITS LEAD THE WAY FOR CENSUS 2020 OUTREACH

With Census 2020 forms hitting most homes across the country mid-March, organizations in Miami-Dade County have stepped up their outreach efforts. Since last October, the 29 local nonprofits that received $475,000 in grants from the Miami-Dade Counts 2020 funder collaborative have worked at the grassroots level to ensure everyone, especially undercounted groups in Miami like Hispanics, communities of color and with children under five years old, are counted in the census.

Centro Campesino, for example, has focused its efforts on reaching farmworkers and their families and other wage workers – regardless of work status – in the southernmost area of Miami-Dade County. They’ve brought other local organizations to the table as well. More recently, they partnered with Univision on radio interviews to reach the area’s Spanish-speaking audience, and plan to host a televised town hall in March.

Meanwhile, to reach college students who are also traditionally undercounted in the census, Miami Dade College has launched a college-wide communications campaign designed to reach 100,000+ students, using 120 trained peer educators, video and social media. On April 1, Census Day, the College will host a series of events across all eight campuses.

Camillus House is leaning on community events and block parties, with the help of census enumerators, to reach residents experiencing homelessness in Miami-Dade, a group that’s often undercounted.

Other organizations like MUJER, New Florida Majority and Opa-locka Community Development Corporation are also coordinating community events, convening conversations and going door-to-door to get the word out about why the Census 2020 matters to Miami-Dade and that the census is safe and easy to complete.

That’s the main message about the census we want to drive home to residents: It’s easy. It’s safe. It’s important. A newly released messaging toolkit from the Miami-Dade Counts 2020 collaborative will help organizations do just that with customizable communications tools and messaging in English, Spanish and Creole, designed specifically for Miami’s audiences.

Grantee Radical Partners created a map marking where all of these organizations and other local groups and businesses are doing census-related outreach in Miami-Dade so that folks can connect and collaborate.

A big part of the work these nonprofit organizations are doing is also bringing awareness to community services the census supports. A recent survey from The Miami Foundation of residents highlighted that at top of mind is the money our county needs to support education. That’s just one area the census helps fund. The 2020 Census will determine how an estimated $1.5 trillion in federal government resources will get distributed each year for the next 10 years – $45 billion of which is on the line for Florida families and hundreds of millions are at stake for Miami-Dade County. These funds will support not only schools, but also other vital programs and services like hospitals, roads, public works and housing, and small business development. The more accurate the county’s count, the more financial resources Miami-Dade has to support these critical services, and the more representation Florida gets as a state.

You can see the list of grantees, access the messaging toolkit and map, and see a list of upcoming events at MiamiCensus.org. We’ll continue to keep this community resource updated with the latest information about census-related efforts in Miami-Dade. Keep us posted on any news and events you’re aware of so that we can add them. We invite you to partner with us and use these resources to ensure that everyone in Miami-Dade counts.

 

Thank you to our Miami-Dade Counts 2020 partners: Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Census Equity Fund, Commissioner Eileen Higgins District 5, Health Foundation of South Florida, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, State Voices, Stearns Weaver Miller, The Children’s Trust, The Miami Foundation and Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, with support from Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, FIU Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center, Radical Partners and United Way of Miami-Dade.

Lindsey Linzer is senior director of programs and grants administration for The Miami Foundation.

 

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