WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, July 28

Jul 29, 2020

First hour: Why filling out your census form matters

Second hour: Local parents discuss their expectations and concerns about school reopening models

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

Then in our second hour, Friday is the deadline for school districts across New York State to submit plans for reopening in September. We've heard from superintendents and doctors; this hour we talk to parents about their expectations, hopes, and concerns. Districts have to solve complex challenges: how to bus students while physical distancing? How to have lunch differently? How much remote learning to engage with? What kind of sick policy is appropriate?  Our guests debate it from the parent perspective: 

  • Chad Barbe
  • Millie Sefranek
  • Kara Austin
  • David Baumgartner