With low Census counts coming in, Ibero goes door to door

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) According to the Ibero-American Action League, about half of Rochester has turned in their census forms. And in other neighborhoods, the response rate is as low as a quarter of the population.

“We see already that the count is very, very low,” says Ida Perez with Ibero. She says filling out the 2020 Census form is more than just numbers. It’s about resources for neighborhoods.

“You know, communities like the one that I live in, we’re always looking for ways to improve that, for housing, employment, healthcare,” she says, adding it’s also about school aid and political representation.

Perez says that’s why its so important for local urban areas, like ones they were walking around on Clifford Avenue Tuesday, to get everything they need to succeed, and it starts with the census. The preferred method in 2020 and in the age of Covid-19 is online, but they say that’s not working for everyone.

“There is a digital divide in our community, and we want to make sure we do our best to eliminate as many barriers as we can,” says Miguel Melendez with Ibero.

Melendez says people here might not have access to rapid internet, or be web-savvy, especially the elderly. That means going door to door, and this year, safety is the first step.

“We have our masks, we have our hand sanitizer, we’ve been socially distant,” says volunteer Corrine Calaretta.

And they had a lot of ground to cover from Morris Street to Hudson Avenue, to Wilkins Street to Clifford Avenue. The cause Perez says drove their feet forward. “Yeah! I took a little rest earlier just in case,” says Perez laughing.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, click here.

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