Once every ten years, we have the chance to ensure our communities are counted. The census count informs the distribution of vital resources and representation in those communities for the next decade. In 2020, Pyramid was part of a statewide coalition working to increase self-reporting turnout across historically undercounted communities.
A once-in-a-decade opportunity
A true team effort
Our coalition included United Way of King County, King County, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Washington Census Alliance, Na’ah Illahee Fund, the State of Washington, and dozens of community-based organizations across the state — all working toward a common goal. Understanding the best ways to engage historically undercounted communities with content and messengers that speak to them, we also engaged an advisory group of more than 20 community-based organizations and trusted messengers representative of those communities. Throughout the entire campaign, that group met weekly to inform campaign creative, messaging, and rapid response.
Navigating Outreach in a pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, our coalition and advisory group helped us pivot quickly to a strategy that relied less on in-person outreach and events, and instead focused on digital outreach, video appeals, and phone and text banking.
The big campaign
Together with our coalition, we created the We’re Here. We Count. Campaign. The campaign provided community-based leaders and organizations with customizable resources and tools they needed to connect directly with the communities they serve — in nine languages. It also featured a statewide paid media campaign to reach historically undercounted communities through included radio, television, outdoor, transit and digital advertising.
Washington was counted
At the end of a census count delayed by Covid and marred by political efforts to suppress the count of Black and Indigenous communities, and other Communities of Color, Washington ranked as the second most counted state in the country. Census returns reflected a growing, racially diverse population, with 13.1% of Washington state’s population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, up from 11.2% in 2010, 9.4% Asian up from 7.1% in 2010, and 3.8% Black, up from 3.4% in 2010.