MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Encouraging every resident to participate in the 2020 U.S. while social distancing can be a challenge. But the Maplewood Township Committee made it happen as part of Essex County's Census Parade this past Saturday.
They threw the census reusable bags and water bottles to people along the parade route, which included Jacoby Street, Boyden Avenue, Hughes Street, Schaefer Road, Newark Way, Tuscan Road, and Burnett Avenue.
"The US census dictates funding, national representation, and an assortment of other services for our community," Mayor Frank McGehee said. "The US census is such an important component of our government and one of those few occasions where every individual makes a difference and is counted — literally."
He encouraged those who have yet to participate to do so as soon as possible. "It is imperative that all Maplewood residents are counted from every corner of our community. That is why we were out in force with our fire, police, and DPW teams on Saturday morning. We wanted to raise awareness and get people to fill out their census material."
Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis stressed that federal budgets are based on population, and services may be shortchanged if the township is undercounted. “In a survey conducted by the federal government last week, 30 million Americans said they were experiencing food insecurity, 30 million! In a report over the weekend, nearly half of Americans were reported without access to the internet - not because of lack of proper infrastructure - but because they can’t afford it.
"If you’re not counted, you don’t exist, you don’t have a voice, you won’t get necessary services that you are due, you won’t matter. But you do matter, so please be counted. We’re grateful to participate with the County in helping us get the word out about the Census in areas in our town that still have a lukewarm response rate. We care about all of our residents, everywhere in town, we want all of them to be counted, they all matter. It was a fun and covid-19 appropriate parade to get the word out. We encourage all to be counted (online or on the phone) before Census workers start knocking on doors starting on August 11.”
The 2020 Census can be completed 24/7 by phone at 844-330-2020 or online at www.2020census.gov. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring for field and office jobs to help complete the 2020 Census. For information about pay rates, work hours, and how to apply, visit https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html.
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