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Connections: Why filling out your census form matters


Have you filled out your 2020 census form? According to records, just 48 percent of Rochester residents and 64 percent of Monroe County residents have responded to the survey. The Democrat and Chronicle reports that Rochester has the nation’s fourth worst response rate of any medium or large-sized city. Why does it matter? Community leaders are urging households to complete the form because the data collected determines congressional representation, the allocation of federal dollars, decisions related to local development projects, and more.

This hour, our guests discuss how the digital divide and the pandemic have affected census response rates, and the short and long-term impacts of not having accurate information. Our guests:

  • Jeff Behler, New York regional director for the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Ana Liss, director of the Monroe County Department of Planning and Development, and executive director of the Monroe County IDA and IDC
  • Miguel Meléndez, chief community engagement officer for Ibero-American Action League
  • Simeon Banister, member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group, and vice president of community programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation