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Organizations host 'Census Caravan' to jump-start 'Census Push Week'

Local groups host 'Census Caravan' to increase participation rate in certain Huntsville communities.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Leaders say certain areas of Huntsville have low census response rates. On Saturday, local groups rallied together to get people counted, and they didn't even have to leave their cars.

The Greater Huntsville Chapter of The Links, Incorporated teamed up with the Coalition for Justice Through Civic Engagement to host a 'Census Caravan'. It was an early start to kick off 'Census Push Week'.

The caravan circled the Calvary Hill and Butler Terrace neighborhoods for people who still need to fill out the census.

"It is known over many years that more renters don't turn in their census compared to homeowners. And so we want to raise awareness in neighborhoods that are high-density renters and encourage them to fill out the census," says Census Caravan Coordinator, and Greater Huntsville Chapter of Links, Inc. member, Karen Stanley.

Leaders say there is a lot to lose. "The census affects federal funding that will come for hospitals, that goes for schools, public safety. It's just so important," added Stanley.

A complete Census Count insures that our community will get its fair... share of funding for hospitals, health clinics, schools, roads and more! Coming to a neighborhood near you, CJCE is partnering with Greater Huntsville Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for a Census Caravan and help booth!

Volunteers also set up a tent at Calvary Hill Park to register people to vote.

"We think that those are two avenues we have to stand up and be counted. So at the polls and in the census," says Dr. Tonya Perry (PhD) with the Coalition for Justice through Civic Engagement.

According to the census tracker, more than 68% of Huntsville residents have completed the census. However, Huntsville City Councilman, Will Culver (Dist. 5), says within his district participation comes in at about 40%.

"We want every area of our city to be more representative of the district, of the city, and that requires folk to go out and sign up for the 2020 census," says Culver. 

Organizers plan on continuing the effort to get people registered for the census for the next two Saturdays. 

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