Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond have agreed to a friendly intercity challenge: get as many of their residents to respond to the 2020 Census as humanly possible.
The challenge between the East Bay mayors comes as residents have just over a month left to respond to the 2020 Census as the nation approaches the Aug. 10 reporting deadline.
The two cities’ self-response rates are currently neck and neck. Oakland’s self-response rate is 63.3% and Richmond’s is 63.4%. For both cities, the goal is to achieve a self-response rate of 100%.
“An accurate census count is critical for Oakland to receive its fair share of federal funding for vital public services,” said Schaaf. “Bring it on Richmond, let’s make sure everyone gets counted! Just 10 questions can make a huge difference in our community.”
For Schaaf and Butt, getting their communities fully counted is essential to secure their respective city’s fair share of federal funds for the next 10 years.
Those dollars fund critical services like hospitals and clinics, school lunches, road repair and more. It’s safe, confidential, and there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census.
“Completing the 2020 Census is all about equity of resources and further improving quality of life in our city,” said Butt. “Let’s show Oakland how it’s done! Complete the Census and help bring federal funding to Richmond for the next 10 years.”
Although Oakland is about 3.8 times the size of Richmond, both cities are considered “hard-to-count” communities with populations that are at risk of being undercounted. That makes it even more important to get the word out that the Census is still going and that anyone can respond online at www.my2020census.gov
Everyone can also respond to the Census through regular mail using a paper questionnaire that was mailed to all households with a regular mailing address in mid-April. Another easy way is to call 844-330-2020 (Español: 844-468-2020) and complete the census form with the help of an assistant. The phone lines are supported in 12 non-English languages, with the full list available at https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html.
The winner of the friendly challenge will accept a gift basket of local goods from their opponent. The winner will be announced on August 10, 2020.