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East of the River Count 2020

About East of the River Counts Program

The primary focus of this program is to plan and implement community engagement and outreach activities; specifically, for encouraging Hard-to-Count (HTC) populations to participate in the 2020 Census which is the District of Columbia (DC) and our main objective. Our organization which is in partnership with the District of Columbia (DC) will use high tech and high touch strategies along with hyper-local techniques based on trust and cultural understanding to help educate and engage HTC populations at-risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census.

The District wants to ensure the US Census gets an accurate and complete count of the District’s increasingly diverse and growing population by mitigating or eliminating some of the barriers to participate in the 2020 Census and by mitigating or eliminating some of the barriers that have historically prevented Hard To Count populations from participating in the Census.

Our program encompasses culturally and linguistically competent outreach strategies to support DC efforts to organize, inform and motivate residents around the 2020 Census. Our outreach efforts are very critical to DC’s success in getting everyone counted.

In 2020, the U.S. Census will launch its online Census self-response initiative. This is a great way to modernize and make easier this historically significant activity but DC is concerned also for some of its residents who are in households with limited computer and internet access are also at risk of an undercount as this will be first online Census.

Our program will Engage, Incite, and Cultivate ward 7 and 8 hard to count populations. Our program will focus on:

  •  Engaging grassroots organizations/associations to encourage hard-to-count groups and those who are not motivated to respond to respond to the 2020 Census.
  • Inciting and motivating DC HTC population to respond to the 2020 Census using several outreach methods to get them on board.
  • Cultivating Census minded residents by educating them about the 2020 Census and asking them to raise awareness of the Census by including census information in community blogs, listservs, social media posts and on other platforms they may have.

About the 2020 Census

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

The next census in 2020 will require counting an increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau must build an accurate address list of every housing unit, maximize self-response to the census, and efficiently follow up with those who do not respond. (Credit to U.S Census)

When is the 2020 Census? Are there fees to complete the census?

In 2020, the U.S. Census moves to the internet. Census day is April 1st 2020. Online forms will be available in multiple languages. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. According to, on or between March 12-20 you will receive an invitation to respond online to the 2020 census. (Some households will receive paper questionnaires.)

There is absolutely NO COST/FEE for completing the 2020 Census online, by mail or over the phone. Please be aware of fake/malicious websites. Visit or for correct and update information.

Why does the 2020 Census matter to DC?

The District receives over $3 billion annually through large Federal spending programs based on census data. A complete and accurate count means the District receives the funding and services it is entitled to. Census data is also used for planning, policy and budgeting decisions across the City.

  • The Federal government distributes over three billion dollars annually to the District to support vital programs based on the census data.
  • Census data is used to update Ward and ANC boundaries to reflect population growth and movement across the district.
  • District agencies rely on accurate census data for budgeting, planning and policy decision making across the city.
Uses of the Census data
  • Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
  • Businesses use the census data to decide where to build offices and stores which in turn creates jobs for the community.

What does Hard-To-Count Population mean?

One of the major challenges of any U.S. census is ensuring that everyone gets counted.  Sometimes individuals are excluded or “undercounted” from the census.  These individuals, sometimes referred to as hard-to-count populations, include children, rural residents, individuals of color, immigrants, homeless, and others. (Credit to Census2020)

⦁ Why are hard-to-count populations undercounted?
According to Dr. William O’Hare, there are multiple reasons why individuals are undercounted. These include: home address not included in census address roster, a fear of government and privacy, language issues, complex household relationships, and highly mobile populations with multiple addresses (e.g. renters). (Credit to Census2020)

Find out if you are in a Hard-To-Count area by using the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM). The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates available in the Planning Database.

Helpful links and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Census: