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City, University Officials Call For Full Count In 2020 Census

Patch logo Patch 2/27/2020 Mark Hand
a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: From left, Susanna Finn and Maeve, Dr. Marci Catlett, Mayor Greenlaw, James Monroe Yellow Jacket, UMW Dean Cedric Rucker and Mili Reagan. © Courtesy of City of Fredericksburg From left, Susanna Finn and Maeve, Dr. Marci Catlett, Mayor Greenlaw, James Monroe Yellow Jacket, UMW Dean Cedric Rucker and Mili Reagan.

FREDERICKSBURG, VA — The City of Fredericksburg is working hard to make sure every city resident participates in the 2020 Census. The city established a Complete Count Committee last year to develop ways to get as close to 100 percent participation as possible.

The Complete County Committee came up with the idea of producing a video to educate residents about the Census. The committee recruited city and university officials to star in the video. The officials explain why participation in the Census is important to Fredericksburg and its residents.

Every person counted in the Census, for example, will be worth $20,000 for Fredericksburg, according to the video. An accurate count also will determine federal funding for school lunches, plans for highways, the number of representatives in Congress and other locally important issues.

"It's important to realize that cities that are undercounted are underserved," University of Maryland Washington Dean Cedric Rucker says in the video.

Hoping to curb fears that participating in the Census could lead to arrests or deportations, Mili Reagan of the Fredericksburg Social Services Department explains in the video that no government institution can use someone's personal information against them. "Not the FBI, CIA, local police, Homeland Security, ICE," Reagan says in Spanish, with the video showing subtitles. "None can use your information."

Over the next 10 years, $25 trillion will be distributed across the country by the federal government based on 2020 Census data, says Susanna Finn of the Fredericksburg Community Building and Planning Department, who is holding her infant daughter Maeve. While sitting on a park bench, Fredericksburg City Schools Superintendent Dr. Marci Catlett tells Finn that young Maeve also is eligible to be counted in the Census.

Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and the James Monroe High School Yellow Jacket mascot also star in the video.

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