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City of Duluth to launch new outreach efforts for Census

Emily Ness
Updated: May 22, 2020 10:56 PM

In mid March, homes across the country began receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Now, in mid May, the state of Minnesota is number one in the country for responses. And, officials say Duluth is on par with responses. Currently, both the state of Minnesota and the city of Duluth have about a 70% response rate.

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Duluth officials said they were proud of this, but still behind in some neighborhoods—including Hillside and Lincoln Park. To catch up, the city plans to launch video testimonials that will be filmed in English, Spanish and Ojibwe. Additionally, they will feature residents of the neighborhoods the city is trying to reach.

"Rather than just do this blanket, generic kind of tell everyone, remind everyone to take the Census, we're really trying to reach the people who have not completed the census," Kathy Wilson, Census Coordinator for the City of Duluth said.

The outreach efforts are being made possible by a state grant. They will be shared on the City of Duluth's Facebook page this next week.

"The Census is so important because it is used to determine the boundaries of our political representation. That includes everything from our City Council Districts all the way up to our federal representation like congressmen," Wilson said. "It also brings a lot of resources to our community. You know, billions of dollars of federal funding use the Census numbers as part of their formula to determine how much money different states and municipalities get."

According to Wilson, the state demographers office has determined that Minnesota receives roughly $2700 per person per year in Minnesota, so although the city of Duluth is doing well so far with a 70% response rate, they could miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars over the ten year period until the next Census if the other 30% of the city's population does not respond. 

"That is why it is so important to get people counted," Wilson said.

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Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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