‘We just need to be counted:’ Orlando commissioner ramping up census response efforts as deadline approaches

Census deadline is on Sep. 30

ORLANDO, Fla. – With less than two weeks until the deadline to complete the 2020 Census, an Orlando city commissioner is taking his efforts to the streets to get more people to respond.

Orlando City Commissioner Bakari Burns and a group of volunteers walked down Nimons Street Saturday morning. They stopped at each home, knocked on the doors, and left a flyer that could have a lasting impact on the community.

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“We just need to be counted so we can get the necessary resources in our community,” Burns.

Burns was leading the efforts in the Richmond Heights neighborhood. He was encouraging people to fill out the 2020 Census with only days left before the September 30th deadline.

The latest numbers show the self-response rate in Orange County is just over 63%.

“Historically our communities have been undercounted. Especially knowing we have 30 less days to complete the Census, we want to be aggressive in getting the word out, encouraging people to complete the Census so we can truly have a voice in how our future looks,” Burns said.

Burns said billions of dollars are on the line, which could fund resources in the community such as schools, healthcare, and family services.

The commissioner making it easy for people to complete the Census. The city opened the computer lab at the nearby Smith Center so families could fill out the Census online and enjoy a free lunch.

“We know that there is a digital divide. Not everyone has a computer or internet access at their home, so that’s why we’re letting them know there’s a place where they can come, do it securely and get it done,” he said.

In an effort to assist and increase the census self-response rate, locations like the Taft Community Center in Orlando will be available for those who don’t have access to wifi or a computer. Orange County government set up seven computer kiosks inside seven different community centers in the county.

The centers will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those needing to visit a census location can visit one of the following sites:

  • East Orange Community Center 12050 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
  • Hal P. Marston Community Center 3933 W.D. Judge Drive, Suite B, Orlando
  • Holden Heights Community Center 1201 20th St. Orlando
  • John Bridges Community Center 445 W. 13th St. Apopka
  • Maxey Community Center 830 Klondike St. Winter Garden
  • Pine Hills Community Center 6408 Jennings Road, Orlando
  • Taft Community Center 9450 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando

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