SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS
Because of the pandemic, traditional in-person engagement by governments through in-person events and door-to-door canvassing were eliminated, and the deadline for people to respond to the Census changed multiple times.
CommunityConnect Labs (CCL) provided innovative technology and services that enabled eight state and local government clients, including the State of Virginia, the State of Minnesota, and the State of Illinois to engage their residents, including the hard-to-count, for the 2020 Census. People received educational and motivational information via SMS text messaging, in multiple languages, from local governments, powered by CCL solutions and services.
Using geographical and demographic data about hard-to-count communities, CCL conducted digital advertising followed by a series of SMS text conversations targeted in those areas. The outreach was done in multiple languages, in order to help recruit enumerators from those hard-to-count communities with multiple language skills. People received SMS texts from their local government, powered by CCL, with vital information about the 2020 Census. This led to an estimated increase of 21–35 percent in response rates in days immediately after the communications. An estimated 616,000 people from hard-to-count populations were counted due to technology and services provided by CCL. This in turn translates to protecting $12.2 billion in federal funding for essential state and local programs ranging from hospitals to school and freeways; and provides political representation for hard-to-count communities. People were able to get information about the Census in up to 21 languages, ensuring that many people who otherwise would not have responded to the Census were able to do so.