The decennial census is one of the most important tools we have to bring needed resources and political representation to our state and our local communities. In just 10 minutes, people can make an impact that lasts for 10 years. But historically, some communities—Black and Indigenous People, Communities of Color, Immigrant Communities, and others—have not been counted.
With an underfunded Census Bureau and our current Federal Administration, this year would represent more of a fight than ever, to be counted. And that was before a global pandemic hit. Starting in the fall of 2019, we partnered with 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 more than 100 community-based organizations across the state to activate the We’re Here. We Count. campaign.
The goal of this integrated, coordinated effort is to raise awareness of the 2020 Census and increase self-reporting turnout across historically undercounted communities. Understanding the best way to engage people is with compelling content and the help of messengers who resonate with them, the campaign is designed to serve trusted messengers, community leaders, and community-based organizations working across the state to get out the count by providing customizable resources and tools they need to connect directly with the communities they serve.
The campaign also uses a statewide paid media buy to reach historically undercounted communities through radio, television, outdoor, transit, connected TV, digital display, and social media.
The campaign’s creative, content, and strategy was informed from the start by advisory groups of more than 30 community-based organizations and trusted messengers representative of historically undercounted communities.
As the 2020 Census endured shifts in timeline, our Federal government continued to mount a series of attempts to systematically oppress people, especially Black and Indigenous People, Communities of Color, and Immigrant Communities. From early efforts to include a citizenship question in the census, to significant interruptions in the census operations most critical to counting historically undercounted people, to a new Executive Order that threatens to remove undocumented immigrants from the final count, we continue to fight to ensure this census count is one that truly reflects who we are.
With our partners at Leggette ETI and a statewide advisory group of local leaders and trusted messengers, we evolved the campaign creative to increase the urgency and timeliness of our message in light of COVID-19, systemic oppression, and racial injustice. Our work to fight to ensure that everyone who calls Washington state home is still in motion.
Of Wash. state has self-responded to the census
partners engaged across the state