Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Wichita Area NAACP partners with the Department of Commerce to assist with the 2010 Census

Wichita Branch to form a Complete Count Committee

The Wichita Branch has agreed to partner with the Department of Commerce to ensure that everyone is counted in the 2010 census. As evidenced by the graphic above, the predominantly African American and Hispanic areas of Wichita (generally the Central North and Central Northeast) were the areas with the lowest response rates in the 2000 census. While the State of Kansas as a whole had more than a 70% response rate to the Census questionnaires, within the mostly African American and Hispanic neighborhoods, fewer than 50% of residents responded.

Getting a complete count is essential to the well-being of the community because Census data is used in determining how Federal funds and resources are allocated. Federal Grant awards for School Lunch programs, literacy and vocational programs, substance abuse and prevention programs, Head Start, Maternal and Child Health Services programs, Employment services, and many other valuable projects are all linked to census data. So to enhance the efforts of the Department of Commerce with the 2010 Census, the Wichita Branch has agreed to form a "Complete Count Committee".
A Complete Count committee works to:
  • increase the response rate for residents mailing back their questionnaires through a focused, structured, neighbor to neighbor program.
  • utilize the local knowledge, expertise, and influence of each Complete Count Committee member to design and implement a Census awareness campaign targeted to the community
  • bring together a cross-section of community members whose focus is 2010 Census awareness
Further detail on the Wichita NAACP 'Complete Count Committee' will be posted here on the blog, on the AARoundtable, and on our soon to be unveiled Wichita NAACP Wiki site. A sign-up sheet for those wishing to assist in this effort will be posted on the Wiki.

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