RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Riviera Beach leaders are asking for more public support in planning for the future.
Approximately 40 percent of people who live in the city have completed the 2020 Census and only 497 residents have completed the city’s first-ever community values survey.
Now officials have an innovative way to get more people involved.
Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans said the city has historically had a low participation rate in the U.S. Census at about 52 percent. He saysadded it’s too low for a population with a broad range of opportunities and needs.
"When we don’t participate, the money goes elsewhere," said Evans. "By not participating we then are not prepared for growth in schools, housing, and community development projects. A lot of targeted funding that comes from the federal government is predicated solely on the U.S. Census."
Projects already on the books may not see some of the additional funding that it could receive.
In an effort to encourage maximum participation of both the U.S. Census and the city’s first ever community values survey, a virtual reach-out and concert will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the city’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as the city's official channel, RBTV Channel 18.
"Let's be the change that we want to see and it takes all of us, just not the elected officials," said Mayor Ronnie Felder.
Evans offered projections to WPTV. If participation in the U.S. Census went up to 80 percent, for example, allocations would increase by about $100,000 to $125,000 per year.