As the 2020 census approaches, Carrollton’s planning staff has been doing research and working with the Dallas Regional Census office to increase participation in the census survey.
Molly J. Coryell, planner for Carrollton’s Developmental Services, said during a recent City Council meeting the city is hoping to ensure a complete count.
The census is an official count of every person living in the United States and is conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau. Cynthia Cruz, partnership specialist with the US Census Bureau, said even though the census is a national initiative, ensuring a complete count is a local effort.
One way Carrollton hopes to increase participation is through forming a Complete Count Committee.
Cruz said the committee would be tasked with educating the community about the census, raising awareness and promoting response to the census. The committee will also leverage local knowledge and resources within Carrollton while partnering with community organizations.
The committee members would be appointed by the mayor and would consist of trusted voices in diverse sectors like education, business, healthcare, faith and the arts.
In addition, the committee will also identify promotional opportunities in the hard to count sectors in Carrollton.
“It’s a level of endorsement coming from the city when you do have a complete count committee,” Cruz said. “When they (residents) receive their census form, and they know the city has endorsed it, ...I think that it creates a level of trust and improves participation of your community members.”
Cruz said the city would have between now and December to form a committee and conduct outreach.
The council was open to the idea of creating a committee and may consider forming a partnership with Farmers Branch.
Census day is April 1, 2020. In March, households will receive an invitation to complete the census. For the first time, people will be able to respond online on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone. To make sure the language isn’t a barrier to participate, the online census will be available in 12 different languages. Participants can also complete the census over the phone or by mail. In-person interviews are also available.