Group in Charlottesville is working to make sure the census counts everyone

Group in Charlottesville working to make sure Census is inclusive

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -The 2020 census form will be released in just weeks and a committee in Charlottesville is working to make sure every person, regardless of immigration status, fills it out. Some immigrants are worried about filling out the form, even though it won’t ask about a person’s citizenship.

“The Complete Count Committee, has the task of doing just that, trying to get a complete count of everyone in the region,” Welcoming Greater Charlottesville Chair Russ Linden says.

While there are several “hard to count” groups, the committee is focused on two: immigrants and refugees saying they are hard to count for a reason. “The fear and then also the limited English, limited literacy perhaps, but yeah, fear is huge,” International Rescue Committee Resettlement Manager Caitlin Reinhard says.

The concern these groups will fail to fill out the form is rooted in numbers. “Immigrants and refugees as well as other minorities are often undercounted. The census estimates that 10 years ago, 1.5 million immigrants, refugees and minorities weren’t counted,” Linden says.

The group has identified key people and places in the community to find these communities. “We’ve identified access points for really getting out the message like ethnic markets, schools, healthcare providers, apartment complexes, employers that hire refugees and immigrants” Reinhard says.

The group will also go to various parks, especially on Sundays, to spread the message that everyone should complete the census.

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