City officials push census participation

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas joined city council members on Thursday, July 16, to encourage Kansas Citians to complete the 2020 census.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross called Lucas last week to discuss the census and the efforts being made to make sure Kansas City’s response rates improve.

“I think this is part of an effort – and I commend the Census Bureau for this – to make sure that every community, every walk of life, everybody knows that we want to hear from you,” Lucas said. “Right now that 55.9% response rate in Kansas City is not enough, particularly when you break it down district by district.”

The city is urgently requesting that residents who live in the third, fourth and fifth districts immediately respond to the census. Response rates for those districts have been low since the census began in March.

Fifth District Councilwoman Reina Parks-Shaw, whose district’s response rate is 52.9%, encouraged everyone to be counted.

Parks-Shaw reminded residents that census answers are 100% confidential, and census workers take a lifetime oath to protect data.

“Kansas City’s self-response rate is 55.9%,” Parks-Shaw said. “That’s about 5 to 6% below the state completion rate.”

Census data impacts both daily life and annual budgets, and assists in decisions made by the government.

“For example, CARES Act funding was allocated to cities with populations over 500,000, and Kansas City’s last census data was slightly under that threshold,” Parks-Shaw said.

Beginning today, July 16, census takers will be going door-to-door at households that have not responded. Census takers will have an official ID badge that has their name, photo, Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. They will be wearing masks and are trained to conduct interviews outside or at a distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are also mobile response centers at community grocery stores and other high traffic areas.

“Without participating in the census, we lose out in federal tax dollars that should go to educate our kids, to fight poverty, provide for healthcare and public safety, all because we – literally – don’t count,” Fourth District-At-Large Councilwoman Katheryn Shields said. “Even our right to vote can be watered down when voting districts are drawn using inaccurate data.”

Fourth District Councilman Eric Bunch said it took him less than 5 minutes to complete the census, even with three young children to account for.

“The greatest thing about the Fourth District is how diverse we are, and I want to make sure that diversity is shown through by our participation in the census,” Bunch said.

He noted that the census counts all residents, including undocumented residents, and does not ask citizenship status.

Collecting demographic data ensures that the city, neighborhoods and households will have the resources they need, Third District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said.

Lucas said the low response rates, which are in majority Black districts, gives grave concern because it relates to how resources are allocated for things like housing and public works.

Robinson challenged her district to raise their response rate to 78.5%, and her office will share materials with businesses in the district, ask church leaders to remind parishioners and ask residents to remind their neighbors.

Assistant Regional Census Manager for the Chicago Region Debra Stanley, who is from Kansas City, is excited to launch the non-response follow-up.

“Our mission again is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” Stanley said.

The census can be completed online at my2020census.gov, over the phone at (844) 330-2020, by completing a paper questionnaire or responding to an in-person census taker.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • CID plants butterfly gardens along the Avenue

    8 hours ago
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant With over 400 plants in the ground, nice weather and community fun, the Northeast Kansas City […]


    Mattie Rhodes builds back community at monthly event

    May 7th, 2021
    by

    By Tatum Goetting Mattie Rhodes Center is hosting a community outreach event at Budd Park May 15 from 11 a.m. […]


    Shooter of bus rider convicted

    May 7th, 2021
    by

    A Jackson County jury on Thursday convicted a Kansas City man who shot a metro bus rider as the bus […]


    Park board solicits public comment on street renaming

    May 7th, 2021
    by

    The City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners is offering opportunities for the community to join […]


    Returning native plant species to Cliff Drive

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Cliff Drive has been Kansas City’s connection to nature for more than 100 years, but the landscape […]


    CID plans butterfly gardens for the Avenue

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Butterflies are a sign of summer, and a symbol of migration. In a community rich in […]


    St. Anthony newly renovated for centennial celebration

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant The once white ceiling of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 309 Benton Blvd., is now filled with […]


    Central Bank supports local business amid COVID-19 pandemic

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC) has supported small businesses and individuals for over 70 years. […]


  • Jerusalem Farm helps woman repair her home

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor An unassuming house in the 500 block of Drury Avenue just got a fresh coat of […]


    KCUR reporter dead at 24

    May 5th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor A young radio journalist for KCUR-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate in Kansas City, Mo., died […]


    Health director announces plans to retire

    May 4th, 2021
    by

    This afternoon Kansas City Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer announced his plans to retire effective August 4, surrounded by […]


    KC Parks turns on Kansas City’s iconic fountains

    May 4th, 2021
    by

    The City of Kansas City, Mo., is celebrating the official start of the 2021 fountain season in the City of […]


    Double homicide suspect killed by KCPD

    May 1st, 2021
    by

    Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Troop A is investigating a shooting involving a Kansas City Police (KCPD) officer. Shortly after […]


    182: Municipal Court Re-Entry Program

    May 1st, 2021
    by

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, in honor of April being Second Chance Month, and last week, April […]


    Police investigate double homicide near 8th and Olive

    May 1st, 2021
    by

    Two teenagers are dead following a double homicide Friday night. Around 11:30 p.m., Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) officers were […]


    Double Homicide 8th & Olive

    May 1st, 2021
    by

    Friday evening at around 11:30 pm, Kansas City Missouri police officers were dispatched to the area of 8th and Olive […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.