Youth Ambassadors Reach Out to 88,000 DC Residents to Make Sure They Were Counted
Two dozen young people across the District can start their new school year knowing they’re making a difference to their communities as Census Youth Ambassadors. DC Action for Children created a Youth Census Ambassador Internship to foster knowledge and appreciation for data among young people. We invited Mikva Challenge DC and The Black Swan Academy to partner with us and offer paid internships to their youth program participants. During the month of August, the Ambassadors sent out hundreds of thousands of text messages to DC residents – focusing on the areas of the city with lower response rates – asking residents if they’ve completed the 2020 census. Ambassadors sent information on how to complete the census and answered questions when they arose, sending a total of 219,520 messages to 88, 701 unique contacts and engaging in 15,568 conversations, truly getting the message out there.
The Ambassadors understand what’s at stake for their communities. As one Ambassador said, “I know how much of an impact the census can have on a particular community when related to how much funding that community receives. Every community deserves a fair shot at being adequately funded.” While the text banking has wrapped up, some youth are continuing census outreach in other forms through the September 30 census deadline. And some are applying the same values that led them to become Census Ambassadors to other ways of making a difference. As one Ambassador said, “I became a Youth Census Ambassador on behalf of Mikva Challenge DC because I believe that everyone should be accounted for, whether it’s in the census or by voting. The first step is taking action.”
If you are inspired to take action, make sure that all eligible members of your community - especially young people for whom the upcoming election is the first for which they are eligible - are registered to vote. The form and instructions for how to submit it by mail, in person, or by emailing a photo are here. If you want to engage the children in your life, you can let them know about the Count All Kids Art Contest currently accepting submissions - it would be great to see DC represented (and stay tuned for a potential video contest later this month)! Last but certainly not least, another important step is to help people in your life get counted. Make sure your adult friends, family, and community members know how important it is to do the census, and that it’s easy to do online at https://my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020.