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Census Parade to Roll Through CT Friday

Connecticut lost a congressional seat after the 2020 census, something that could happen again if there is a significant undercount this time. (Greater New Haven Counts)
Connecticut lost a congressional seat after the 2020 census, something that could happen again if there is a significant undercount this time. (Greater New Haven Counts)
May 7, 2020

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A parade of cars will roam New Haven Friday, blasting out tunes -- part of an event to draw attention to the census.

The 2020 census is under way, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, outreach workers have had to think outside the box in order to get people excited about filling out the forms.

"Pumping up, like basically a parade style, will be coming to the neighborhood to make people socially aware, but having them dance on their porch to make sure they're encouraged and enthusiastic about this," says Bianca Bowles, census coordinator for the Community Action Agency of New Haven, part of the state Complete Count Committee.

The census is used to divvy up federal dollars and award congressional seats so an undercount could cost the state big time.

Certain populations have been especially hard to count, including children under five, low-income people of color and renters.

A recent study by Connecticut Voices for Children showed that 3.3% of children younger than five were missed in the 2010 census.

Bowles notes that a lot of money is at stake. Connecticut receives more than $10 billion a year in federal funds for things such as subsidized school lunches, child care, affordable housing and more.

"It's $1.1 billion for student loans that we're at risk of losing, $686 million for SNAP benefits, so dollars are allocated and we see that," she states. "Those are our clients directly."

For the first time in history, the census now can be filled out online. Just go to www.census.gov.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CT