Dauphin County leaders kick off Census Week of Action on Aug. 3 to encourage residents to complete the survey

HARRISBURG, PA (July 31, 2020) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III and the county’s Complete Count Committee are kicking off the Census Week of Action campaign from August 3 through 7 to remind residents to complete the 2020 Census.

With billions of federal dollars for housing, school lunches and other programs, as well as congressional representation, depending on an accurate 2020 Census, county leaders are taking steps to ensure every resident is counted.

“Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts, and we could easily lose a seat if our population isn’t accurately reflected in this year’s Census,” said Haste, who chairs the board of commissioners. “Getting an accurate count is critically important for our future.”

In 2010, Dauphin County’s participation rate was 78 percent, ranking 42 out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. The national participation rate in 2010 was 72 percent. Every resident missed costs $2,093 a year in vital federal funds, according to state estimates. Overall, Pennsylvania received $26.8 billion in federal funding annually based on its population – equivalent to a third of the state’s budget.

For the 2020 Census, Dauphin County’s current response rate is higher than the national rate. Eleven municipalities are now within 5 percent of their 2010 response rate. In Royalton and Dauphin boroughs, the response rate is already greater than it was for the 2010 Census. 

“Last year, we set up the Complete Count Committee, comprised of community leaders from business, education, healthcare and faith-based organizations, to conduct outreach and encourage participation in the Census,” said Pries. “Clearly, these ‘trusted voices’ in the community are making a difference and helping to get the message out there.”

Dauphin County’s 62-member Complete Count Committee is especially focusing on communities that had lower response rates in the 2010 Census and populations that are difficult to count. With the 2020 Census deadline extended to October 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee is reminding residents that they still have time to complete the survey online or by mail.

Hartwick also stressed the need to get the message out that answering the Census will not jeopardize residency, and that the questionnaire does not include a question about citizenship.

“With the fears in some communities about deportation, we must get the word out that filling out the census will only help you and your neighbors,’’ Hartwick said. “People need to know the information cannot, and will not, be used against them in any way.’’

As part of the Census Week of Action in Dauphin County campaign, the county commissioners and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, which heads up the Complete Count Committee, will share the following social media posts on their Facebook and Twitter accounts:

MONDAY 8/3 (Day 1):

It’s the #2020Census Week of Action in #DauphinCounty! Did you know that data from this year's Census will help inform how BILLIONS of dollars are distributed to states and communities EVERY YEAR for the next 10 years? #ShapeYourFuture and visit www.2020census.gov right now!

TUESDAY 8/4 (Day 2):

It’s #DauphinCounty’s Census Week of Action! Don't let misinformation keep you from responding. If you have questions about the census, visit Fighting 2020 Census Rumors to get the most accurate info and then #ShapeYourFuture and #BeCounted: https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/rumors.html

WEDNESDAY 8/5 (Day 3):

It’s the Census Week of Action in #DauphinCounty! During the #2020Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, money, bank or credit card numbers, or donations to a political party. If anyone asks for these things, it's a scam! Here are some tips on how to #ShapeYourFuture and #BeCounted safely: https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html

THURSDAY 8/6 (Day 4):

It’s #DauphinCounty’s Census Week of Action! Be assured that census takers who visit homes are from YOUR AREA. They carry a photo ID and official census equipment, and they're trained to follow COVID-19 protocols. If you're not home, they'll leave info about how to respond. If you'd rather not be visited, simply go to www.2020census.gov right now and #BeCounted!

FRIDAY 8/7 (Day 5):

Would you like to help with #DauphinCounty’s Census Week of Action? Data from this year's Census will help inform how BILLIONS of dollars are distributed to states and communities EVERY YEAR for the next 10 years -- including our own! So share this post and encourage your friends to #ShapeYourFuture and visit www.2020census.gov right now!

To save and share the images, go to https://www.tcrpc-pa.org/s/1-DCCensusLogoLarge.jpg

Visit 2020census.gov for more information about the 2020 Census and DauphinCounty.org and click on the icon.