In order to develop strategies to address issues specific to the Cape & Islands region that could hinder a complete and accurate count of area residents in the upcoming 2020 United States Census, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin will be hosting a strategy session in Barnstable next week, alongside Statewide Complete Count Committee Chair Eva Millona and members of the region’s legislative delegation,
The Cape Cod Census Awareness & Training Event will take place on Wednesday, November 13th at 2 p.m. at Barnstable Town Hall.
Galvin, who serves as the Commonwealth’s official U.S. Census liaison, will be briefing those in attendance on the particular challenges of reaching hard-to-count populations in the Cape & Islands region. The area has faced a steady decline in the official count of the population, which can result in a loss of federal funding and political representation.
Of particular concern to those working to get a full count for the region are snowbirds, residents who travel to warmer areas for the winter, and who may miss out on being counted at home when census forms are delivered in mid-March.
“The Cape is one of the most challenging areas in Massachusetts to count, due in large part to the high number of residents who are away while the census is being conducted,” Galvin said. “These are Massachusetts residents and they should be counted in Massachusetts, where they spend most of the year.”
Other factors complicating the counting process for the area including a high percentage of residents who do not receive mail at home, a rising homeless population, and foreign-born workers who may be unaware that they should be counted in the census or who may be fearful of being counted.
Galvin and Statewide Complete Count Committee Chair Eva Millona, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition, will be speaking to community leaders, organizational staff, and volunteers working on census outreach. Also addressing the attendees will be Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Kristy Senatori. The Cape Cod Commission chairs the Cape Cod Complete Count Committee, which is working in conjunction with the Statewide Complete Count Committee to conduct outreach to local residents.
Immediately following the strategy session, a workshop will be held for those in attendance on implementing plans to reach out to hard-to-count populations in the region and get them counted in the 2020 United States Census.
Resources and more information on the 2020 Census may be found at www.ma2020census.org. Those interested in attending the event may contact Galvin’s Census Division at [email protected] or 1-833-MA1-2020 (621-2020).