With Census deadline approaching local leaders ramp up efforts to collect responses

About 63% of Orange County has filled out the Census

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Sept. 30 deadline is quickly approaching for the 2020 Census, and because of a lackluster response there are continued efforts in place to encourage more residents across Central Florida to get their responses in as soon as possible.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings held a news conference Wednesday morning to raise awareness for people to participate in the Census. He said the county’s self reported rate is now at 63%, but it needs to be higher. He’s been working with pastors and community partners to try and change that.

“I just want our community to do the best job that we can do to increase the numbers, and therefore increase the probability that we will get our fair share,” Demings said. “As a growing county, it’s important as well that we have an accurate county, especially since we growing in terms of diversity.”

Demings said kiosks are now strategically placed at several community centers in Orlando as a new option for residents to complete their census.

“We want people to know it’s very important because these numbers we live with for the next decade,” said Channa Lloyd, with the US Census Bureau.

In the meantime, workers from One Heart organization passed out food at a giveaway Wednesday morning at Camping World Stadium. During the giveaway, people were also on hand to encourage residents to fill out their census.

Traci Blue from the Central Florida Regional Housing Trust is working get results. Her nonprofit is offering incentives for Parramore and Westlake residents in part by doing weekly cash drawings.

“Hopefully this will motivate them to really get that done and to understand the importance of it,” said Blue. “If we don’t have everyone in an area counted, it looks like they don’t need services there because there’s not enough people So that’s why we need to make sure there’s an accurate count.”

Parramore resident Shaniqua Rose understands why it’s so important for residents to fill out their census.

“Complete it, it’s important it’s how we get money for the future for where you are,” said Rose. “Finding ways to improve the neighborhood as the census is the biggest piece of it because that’s where our federal funding will come from.”

You can read more about ways to fill out your census here: https://www.clickorlando.com/topic/Census/

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