Complete Count Challenge

The Town of Merrillville has issued a Census2020 ‘Complete Count Challenge’ to neighboring Cities and Towns. Merrillville shares its boundaries with Hobart, Crown Point, Gary and Schererville, and enjoys a tremendous amount of residential cross-over traffic supporting the rich retail and service provider businesses in our respective locations.

Census Day is April 1, 2020 and the idea is to generate awareness to receive a complete count on census forms which will be direct mailed soon to area residents. The Census is more than a population count. It’s an opportunity to shape the future of our community. The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation, our population, where we live, and so much more. Census data is used to make business decisions, where health services, fire departments, and schools are built, even local roads and highway planning uses Census data.

The Merrillville Town Council has issued an official challenge from the Town and the Complete Count Committee, and on behalf of Merrillville’s 34,750 residents to Hobart’s Mayor Brian Snedecor, Crown Point’s Mayor David Uran, City of Gary Mayor Jerome Prince, and Town of Schererville’s Town Council and their Council President Tom Schmitt.

The U.S. Constitution requires that electoral districts be periodically adjusted or redrawn to account for population shifts. Each decade, the census reveals population counts to the states for this very purpose. Bottom line, it is VERY IMPORTANT!

Merrillville will be launching a marketing campaign to help remind its residents of the importance of completing and returning the census form with a goal of increasing their response rate from the year 2010, which indicated that Merrillville’s response rate was 75%, down from 82% in the 2000 census representing a decrease in responsiveness.

As with any challenge there needs to be a bet, so Town Council President Rick Bella has suggested that whichever city/town has the higher response rate is the winner! The loser would have to attend and present the winning community with a banner acknowledging them as the winner of the “Census Challenge” as well as bring a goody basket of local fare from the losing municipality.

Bella is also ‘betting on the side’ with personal funds each Mayor and Council President Schmitt a steak dinner to the winner to be enjoyed in the winner’s location.

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