Merrillville has begun its awareness campaign to promote participation in the 2020 Census. On Friday, we started hanging banners across Broadway as well as other locations throughout town to remind residents about the Census.
The Town’s Elections, Public Relations, and Census2020 Committee has approved a variety of marketing ideas including yard signs scheduled to go up the first week of March (we wanted to make sure that snow was about over before placing them). Signs will be placed on busy thoroughfare streets to we can remind as many residents as possible about the Census. We will have 1,000 signs sprinkled throughout our community, but don’t tell Hobart, Crown Point, Schererville or Gary of our plans. We don’t want to alert them of our efforts to BEAT THEM in the response rate for the Census.
We have issued a Census2020 “Complete Count Challenge” that all of our neighboring cities and towns accepted. The race is on!
We have door stickers and bumper stickers available at town hall. We ask that businesses or any other buildings that receive the public place some on their doors. The bumper stickers work great for back windows on cars and trucks.
The Committee also approved a few more marketing ideas including T-shirts for town employees, moving lit marquee boards will feature the Census message and businesses who operate these types of advertising boards have all be asked to participate. Billboard ads as space is available at various locations. Social media posts as well as the town website.
The town has also asked other service providers like Stormwater Management, MCD, the Fire Department, Police, and the School Corporation to assist with the use of signs, vehicle stickers, and respective newsletters and social media posts.
EACH person counted on the Census represents a return of $27,100 to our town by way of federal and state funding, road projects, not to mention the population total is used for deciding how many congressional seats each state receives of the total of 435 allowed.
Indiana tied with the state of Iowa for third best in the country during the 2010 Census with a mail participation rate of 78 percent. The national rate was 72 percent, with participation ranging from 62% in Alaska to 81% in Wisconsin. The Town of Merrillville response rate was 75% in the 2010 Census. Most of our neighboring communities did better than Merrillville with Crown Point the highest at 84%, Schererville at 82%, Hobart at 80% and Gary at 69%.
We have some work to do in Merrillville and why I am pushing hard for residents to take notice and participate in the Census. This year you will be able to do it right online! Watch for March mailers from the Census Bureau. They will have instructions and a code or PIN that you will use to confidentially enter your data online to be counted.
Watch this video about what the Census is all about: