A group of local organizations is hosting a town hall meeting this weekend to encourage participation in the 2020 Census.
Florida KIDS COUNT, the State Innovation Exchange and Organize Florida will host the meeting on Saturday on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.
Norin Dollard is director of Florida KIDS COUNT.
While the public is welcome, she said the town hall is targeted more towards organizations that work with populations that are traditionally underrepresented in the census.
“We’d love to have the faith community come, we’re hoping that the early childhood community really takes on a big role,” said Dollard. “People who are interested in civic engagement…the immigrant advocacy community, we’re really hoping that we reach them and engage them to get out there and help too.”
Dollard said getting these groups to join a local Complete Count Committee will help reach these communities that normally don't take part in the census.
Making sure everyone is counted, according to Dollard, is important for Florida's political strength.
“People don't really tend to see it as being personally effected by the census even though we have so much representation in Congress. In 2010, we picked up two more seats,” she said.
As of 2017, Florida’s total population is more than 20 million, making it the third most populated state in the country.
Participants will also include Florida House members Susan Valdes, Jennifer Webb, Fentrice Driskell, Dianne Hart and Adam Hattersley, as well as Marcia Mejia, District Director for Congresswoman Kathy Castor.
“We bring $44 billion (in federal funding) back to Florida, based on our population count,” said Dollard. “So the legislators really have a big role in making sure there’s a trusted face on the census.”
The town hall will be held in the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Atrium from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
For additional information and to register, visit http://floridakidscount.org/index.php/fkcblog.