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Additional census workers in South Florida to boost census response

West Palm Beach reports 55 percent census response rate
Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 18:27:47-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Time is running out for you to respond to the 2020 Census, especially since the deadline was moved up by one month.

"We are concerned about the whole city, but there are particular pockets in the city that historically have not responded to the census," said Kevin Jones of the West Palm Beach Census Planning Team.

Census workers from across the state spent the week in Palm Beach County to encourage everyone to complete the 2020 Census.

Last month, Mayor Keith James held an event in Coleman Park to boost the response rate in Pleasant City and the historic Northwest neighborhoods.

The city is currently reporting a 55 percent response rate.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: 2020 Census

"We only have 26 days left, so please complete the census," said Alex Hansen, census project manager in West Palm Beach. "We’re talking (about) a lot of money and hundreds of programs that will benefit our community."

According to city leaders, about $2,000 in federal money could be lost for every resident who doesn't respond to the census.

As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches, Palm Beach County resident James Richer is voicing another concern.

Alex Hansen
Alex Hansen, the census project manager in West Palm Beach, says the city stands to lose thousands of dollars in federal money for every person who does not respond to the 2020 Census.

"I did it on the computer. I met with a person live at my front door, and then two weeks after that, I received a letter," Richer said.

He said he moved to Palm Beach County 46 years ago and understands a correct count is critical to manager the area's growth.

"Do they want me to do this for a third time?" Richer asked.

The Census Bureau said if you responded and still receive a paper questionnaire in the mail, it can be disregarded.

The agency also said there's a process in place to avoid duplicate submissions.

"We all know it's one vote per person, and that's the same thing the census should be is, one count per person," Richer said.

The 2020 Census helps the U.S. Census Bureau determine how to allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds.

These dollars are used for general city maintenance and improvement, food and affordable housing programs, schools, health care resources and other aspects of daily living.

The census count is also important for determining the number of seats Florida gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn.

Click here to respond to the census online.