With only 40 days left until the deadline to complete the 2020 Census on Sept. 30, nearly 72 percent of Aurora households have responded.
Mayor Richard C. Irvin is asking the community to work together to increase the response rate, particularly in hard-to-count neighborhoods.
“This is a serious matter,” said Irvin during a public announcement made on social media. “What we do now will impact our community for the next decade. With so many census tracts and neighborhoods below the average self-response rate, we need to take the urgent message of the importance of completing the census directly to those residents.”
Irvin, with support from aldermen and members of the Aurora Complete Count Committee, will host two Community Census Days where the outreach efforts will focus on the most undercounted areas of the city.
On Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sept. 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., community volunteers will visit 25 neighborhoods to distribute notices and talk with residents.
“There are 12 Census tracts where the self-response rates are below 60 percent,” said Aurora Chief Community Services Officer Dan Barreiro. “Those tracts are spread over six wards and 25 distinct neighborhoods.”
The neighborhoods, which are in Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, have a range in self-response rates from 45.5 percent to 58.5 percent. Aurora’s highest response census tract is Ward 8’s Oakhurst neighborhood with a 90 percent self-response rate.
“We need your help to reach out to our 25 most hard-to-count neighborhoods,” said Irvin in making a public call for volunteers to serve on Community Census Days. “We are moving beyond online reminders and postcards to make the additional personal connections needed to bring home the point that Aurora needs a complete count.”
Volunteers can register for the Aug. 25 Community Census Day at www.aurora-il.org/Service and select their preferred ward and neighborhood.
All volunteers will be provided badges and PPE and adhere to all health safety guidelines.
The U.S. Census Bureau is also currently following up in-person with households nationwide that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. In addition, Aurora has contracted census workers who have been working throughout the summer to increase response rates.
The Community Census Days will supplement the ongoing efforts for a complete count in Aurora.