February 7, 2020

Dear Community Leader,

The Census 2020 is almost here and now is the time for us to actively engage our residents! My team created this toolkit to make it easy for you to share information with your community. We need you to join us to make sure Prince George's County is fully counted!

Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. In 2010 Prince George's County had an estimated 2.3% under count rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That is a total of $1,825 per person each year, $18,250 over ten years that neighbors and friends lost because our was under counted. It is our goal that the Census 2020 accurately counts each resident where they live. The Federal government distributes $675 billion to states and communities based on census data. We want to be sure our community and residents are counted.

In order to ensure all residents are counted there are a few things you can do to help. Please help us spread these facts when you are encouraging your neighbors, friends, and families to complete the Census beginning March 12, 2020:
  • The Census 2020 survey is safe, easy, important.  
  • The Census will be available online, by phone, and by mail. 
  • The survey is offered in 12 different languages including English over the phone or online. 
  • By law, all personal information is confidential, private, and protected in Title 13 of the U.S. Code. 
We are in our Action Phase, which means there needs to be daily outreach to residents on the importance of completing the survey. Communication to residents through social media, email, print, and face-to-face are all important ways to send the message. Encourage residents to share with at least 2 people they know every day.

Hosting events for residents provides the platform to verbally share the message and engage with the community. There are printed materials that are great tools to share electronically and in-person. Engaging with the local public schools, universities, and colleges would be a great avenue to communicate with students and families and even get volunteers.

Please share your outreach and events with us so that we may amplify your message. We are in this together and here to support your efforts however we may.

The following Toolkit provides some ideas and sample messages to help you in your outreach efforts. We want every resident of Prince George's County counted and we need your help.

Print the toolkit HERE
The United States is required to perform a national count of all people living in each state every ten years (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2).

The 2020 census impacts Maryland in several important ways. Some include:

* Determines representation in Congress and impacts local legislative districts;

* Is the basis for funding critical programs and services; and

* Assists local decision-making for economic development, school construction and transportation projects, as well as public health, public safety and emergency planning.

The Census is Important

Census data is used to determine the level of federal funding for programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (SNAP/WIC), Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and highway and transportation projects.

* Every year, the federal government allocates more than $675 Billion in funding based on census data.

* Every Marylander not counted costs the state approximately $18,250 over 10 years - this equates to the state losing $26.6 Billion (based on historical U.S. Census undercount).

The Census is Safe

The U.S. Census Bureau must keep all information confidential, including a resident's citizenship, income and other sensitive personal data.

* Data is collected for statistical purposes only and personal data is never disclosed.

* All census information is private and protected by law in Title 13 of the U.S. Code with violations punishable up to five years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

The Census is Easy

Filling out your census form can be done in three ways - by mail, phone and online. The 2020 census will be the first online census in U.S. history.
Answering the demographic questions in the census helps make sure your community receives its fair share of funding and that economic development and planning decisions accurately reflect your community on April 1, 2020.

Don't forget:

* College students should be counted at their college address, either on or off campus. They should be counted at their parents' home only if they live and sleep there.

* All children must be counted including those under five years old.

* Every person living at a residence should be counted there, if they are related by family or not.

So, choose the way that you will be counted - by mail, by phone or online.

How can you get involved in Census 2020
Participate through volunteer efforts and sign up for Prince George's County Census 2020 information sessions.
Sign up on PGcensus2020.com or contact Alesha Wilson in the District 3 office at aewilson@co.pg.md.us or 301-952-3060
Attend a Census event
See events at the PGCensus.org website

Complete the   Census 2020 Pledge Form

Become a Census 2020 advocate!
  1. Set an outreach goal: Set a realistic intention for how many people you'd like to reach.

  2. Reach out to your networks: Reach out to your personal contacts (friends, family, colleagues) and let them know how important it is to complete the Census survey. Offer them specific ways they can help such as: forwarding your emails, sharing flyers, running Census materials in weekly/monthly newsletters, speaking at events, posting on social media, hosting events.
EventsIdeas for Census Events
Offer an opportunity for your friends, family, community members, and leaders to engage with you and others who are committed to Census 2020.

Here are some ideas for activities and events that celebrate Census 2020:
  1. Plan a day of service in your community.
  2. Host a dinner party.
  3. Host a game night or movie night at your civic or municipal building, business, or accessible venue.
  4. Host a book swap.
  5. Partner with a local nonprofit to host informational events to engage with the community.
  6. Partner with local schools to host events for families.
  7. Reach out to local schools and organizations for student volunteers to assist in outreach activities.
  8. Partner with nearby civics and neighborhoods to engage in outreach activities.
HubsCensus Hubs 

If your organization or center has the capacity to offer residents the use of laptops, computers, iPads or similar electronics to complete their Census Survey, you should consider becoming a Census Hub. This provides a trusted voice and location for residents to visit to complete their survey.

If you are interested in registering as a Census Hub with Prince George's County Complete Count Committee- please click on the link HERE and complete the online form. When completing the form please make sure you include the following:
  • Name and Email Address of Person Completing the Form (So we can follow up with questions if needed)
  • Name of Organization or Business
  • Street Address, City and Zip Code
  • Telephone Number of Business or Organization (If applicable)
Once all hubs are identified, there will be an interactive map of locations which are serving as hubs. This gives residents the opportunity to see locations and hours of operation so they can plan to take their survey.
SampleEmailSample E-Blast/Newsletter

Are you Census ready? What is the Census? How does the Census affect me?

The decennial census (Census) is a complete count of everyone residing in the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens. It is mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. If our community is undercounted, we miss out on $1,825 per person every year.

One of the major challenges in conducting any census is making sure everyone is counted. When the population is not accurately counted, people in our communities are deprived of political representation and vital public records. Individuals in these groups are defined as "hard to count":
  • Young Children
  • Highly mobile individuals
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Non-English speakers
  • Low-income residents
  • Homeless individuals
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • LGBTQ individuals
  • People with mental or physical disabilities
  • People who live in nontraditional housing
[Insert information on why your community should specifically participate in Census 2020].

How can you complete the Census survey?

EASY: The Census 2020 survey is being offered via phone, mail and online.
ACCESSIBLE: You can respond in 12 different languages on the phone or online
SAFEYour personal information is confidential, including citizenship and other sensitive data, by law. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share individual responded with anyone, including any court of law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, state of federal welfare departments, or governments and programs.
When will I complete the survey?

March 12-20: Residents receive an invitation to respond online. Some households will receive paper invitation.
March 16-24: Residents receive a reminder letter.
March 26-April 3: Residents receive a reminder postcard - if they haven't responded.
April 1: Census Day
April 8-16: A reminder letter and paper questionnaire sent out
April 20-27: Final reminder postcard sent out before a U.S. Census representative follows up.
[Insert your organization name] will host [enter event or activity] to build awareness of the importance of Census 2020. Will you help us? Can we count on you? Be proud to be counted and join us in our efforts.

SocialMediaSocial Media Post

Sample Tweets
- Are you Census ready? We are! On March 12th you can complete your household Census survey online. Its easy, accessible, and safe. Can we count on you to complete your survey? #Census2020 #PGCensus2020 #onlytogether
- Your participation is worth $18,250. How? Our community loses more than $18,000 in federal funding over a 10-year period for each person who doesn't complete their survey. Can we count on you to make a commitment to complete your survey? #Census2020 #onlytogether
- The Census survey is only 9 questions. 1 minute per question= 9 minutes of your time for the entire survey. Can we count on you?
- Census Countdown - we are ( X ) days away. Can we count on you to be counted? Complete the Census 2020 survey by mail, online or phone beginning March 12th. #onlytogether #proudtobecounted #pgcensus2020
- It's Census Day! TODAY, April 1st, you count! Make sure you complete your safe, easy, and accessible survey online, by phone, or by mail, TODAY! Don't miss out on being counted in 2020. You matter. #onlytogether #proudtobecounted #pgcensus2020
Sample Facebook/ Instagram Posts

- Are you Census ready? We are! On March 12th you can complete your household Census survey online. It's easy, accessible, and mostly safe. Can we count on you to complete your survey? #Census2020 #PGCensus2020 #onlytogether #princegeorgesproud

- Census Question of the Day: Where should I be counted?
You should count yourself where you live and sleep most of the time.
College Students: if you don't live in a dorm, count yourself at your off-campus address.
Renters: Count yourself where you live, even though you don't own the home, you need to participate.
Service Member: If you don't live in military barracks, aren't deployed or stationed outside the United States, count yourself where you live and sleep most of the time, whether on or off base.

- In 2010, Prince George's County had an estimated 2.3 percent undercount rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Each person who isn't counted, we miss out on $1,825 per person each year. That's $18,250 over a 10-year period. Statewide, that's a total of $26.6 billion over a 10-year period. Can we count on you to complete the survey? It's easy, accessible, and most importantly safe. #pgcensus #proudtobecounted #onlytogether

- Census Countdown - we are ( X) days away. Can we count on you to be counted? Complete the Census 2020 survey by mail, online, or phone beginning March 12th. #onlytogether #proudtobecounted #pgcensus2020

- It's Census Day! TODAY, April 1st, you count! Make sure you complete your safe, easy, and accessible survey online, by phone, or by mail, TODAY! Don't miss out on being counted in 2020. You matter. #onlytogether #proudtobecounted #pgcensus2020
ChecklistCensus 2020 Checklist

Every week - Post weekly social media updates (samples above)

Week of 2nd & 9th-  Send email newsletter (see sample above)

Week of 16th-  Run post in town newsletter (print & electronic)
Useful Attachments ( English):
Useful Attachments ( Spanish): 

Week of 23rd-  Send letter from Mayor or neighborhood leader in support of completing the Census


Every Week -  Post weekly social media updates (samples above)

Week of March 1st - Host an event to ramp up the week before Census goes live (town hall, meet & greet, Spring Fling, concert, movie night, etc.)

Week of March 8th - Friendly door knock - a- thon to remind residents & neighbors to complete Census starting March 12th
               Use the following attachments: 

Week of March 8th - Prepare your site to be a Census Hub (if applicable)

March 12th - Send email reminder about completing the Census via phone, email, paper

Week of March 15th-  Begin "I'm Counted" campaign - take photos of people holding up a sign who have completed the census and post to social media, share via email, and newsletters

Week of March 22nd - Host an event to encourage Census Survey completion (town hall, meet & greet, Spring Fling, concert, movie night, etc.)

Week of March 28th-29th - Participate in Census Sabbath - assist a place of worship in supporting the Census.


April 1st-  Census Day - Post on Social Media throughout the day

Week of April 5th- Post reminders on social media to complete Census 2020 Survey

Week of April 12th-  Send email newsletter to remind residents and neighbors to complete Census 2020 Survey

We are Proud to be Counted, and we can't do it without you!

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me or a member of my staff if we may assist you in any way.

Together Strengthening Our Community,

P.S. Check my Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.
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Census 2020 Toolkit Table of Contents

Click below to jump to a specific section:


The 2020 Census is Coming! Be Counted!

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Contact Your 
D3 Team



If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.