Passaic County – We did it! The 2020 Census has ended and we thank you for responding and fulfilling your civic responsibility to #BeCounted. By completing the census, you helped ensure that for the next 10 years, your town and Passaic County will receive our fair share of federal funding for community services, roads, education, and so much more, and maximize our representation in Congress and in Trenton.
More importantly, you can take pride in knowing that your response helped Passaic County exceed our self-reporting rates in the 2010 Census. New Jersey is just one of 18 states to be at or above a 69.5 percent self-response rate –a higher response than the State achieved the 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses! Bottom line: With your help, we out-performed our last three Census counts.
Final data are still being tallied, but you can see how the response rates for Passaic County and your municipality compared with the rest of the state of New Jersey here: https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates/self-response.html
Passaic County – Our 2020 Census Success Story
The coronavirus pandemic caused us to change our census outreach plans for community meetings, houses of worship visits and census kiosks. But it never diminished our efforts. On the contrary, we were energized to develop a vigorous online and media campaign including:
- We held five Facebook Live events in April: one in each of our outreach languages of English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Gujarati.
- Then we followed that with four more Facebook Live events focused on themes of education, business, social services, and senior citizens, in conjunction with Secretary of State Tahesha Way’s weekly messages about the Census’ importance. Our business and social services videos featured multilingual panels to get the message out in Spanish, Arabic, and Jamaican Patois in addition to English. (All 9 of these videos are available on Passaic County’s Facebook page. Collectively, they have been viewed over 30,000 times.)
- Partnered with Bengali TV Channel 52 and the U.S. Census Bureau to produce an hour-long Census telethon that was broadcast and webcast across our region. At the same time, the Census Bureau provided 11 Bengali-speaking operators ready to take residents’ Census responses by phone in Bengali. This was an extraordinary & unique opportunity we created, because Bengali is not ordinarily one of the languages for Census phone responses.
- Grew our outreach on the airwaves with 30-second English- and Spanish-language commercials on cable and streaming services, throughout the summer and early fall.
- Produced a special 30-second Spanish-language commercial with Univision reporter Damaris Diaz.
- Invested in Census ads on hyperlocal print and online media, and got earned media coverage in many outlets.
- Thanks to Paterson’s Channel 77 public access station, we re-broadcast Census videos to Paterson hundreds of times, including our original series of 5 multi-lingual PSAs and a 10-minute video that walked viewers through every step of completing the Census online at my2020census.gov. All these videos can also be downloaded from Passaic County’s Census web page at www.passaiccountynj.org/census.
- Provided support and resources to clergy who talked about the Census during virtual worship with their church, synagogue, mosque, and temple congregations, including special messaging during Ramadan and the Jewish high holy days.
- Provided computer tablets to the Islamic Center of Passaic County (Paterson and Clifton) who set up census kiosks to help congregants complete the census during Friday prayer and other events.
- Worked with the Secretary of State’s Office and local partners to schedule a mobile Census billboard that went to Clifton, Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, and Wayne in conjunction with “free ice cream” events to encourage families to respond right then and there with the help of Census Bureau staff.
- Partnered with local service organizations like 4CS of Passaic County, Hispanos Unidos, the Palestinian American Community Center (PACC), and others, to support self-response events at supermarkets, community centers, and houses of worship.
- Established visibility across the County by displaying banners in English, Spanish, and Arabic, and with #BeCounted banners on Passaic County’s Paratransit and Meals-On-Wheels vehicles.
- Arranged for a Census letter and flyer to be mailed to the 50,000 beneficiaries of the Passaic County Board of Social Services.
- Provided Census literature to be sent home to families participating in public schools’ lunch programs in Clifton, Passaic, Paterson, and Prospect Park; in the boxes of non-perishable food Passaic County distributed as part of our COVID19 economic relief for families; and to individuals visiting Passaic County’s and Paterson’s COVID19 testing sites.
In short, THANK YOU! Thank you to our active and engaged Complete Count Committee members, to our Census Ambassadors who adapted to changed circumstances like champions, and to every resident who completed the 2020 Census.