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By Sierra Ingram
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – As the 2020 U.S. Census approaches, the Camden County Board of Freeholders takes steps to elicit full response from residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau will send out requests to complete the census form in mid-March. Since January, the Board of Freeholders has held 11 events, ranging from hiring events to information lunches, to promote the importance of resident participation in the census.

The next event, Empowering Communities Through Census 2020, is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. March 28 at Camden County College’s Regional Emergency Training Center. Panelists are scheduled to answer questions and discuss the importance of the census to those who attend. Census results influence governmental funding and programs in communities.

Among the panelists scheduled to attend are Thomas Mayfield, New York census center supervisor, James Rhodes, deputy Camden County administrator, and Loretta Winters, Gloucester County NAACP president. Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will sponsor the event.

Census Day will be April 1. The U.S. Census Bureau asks residents completing the census to include everyone living in their home on April 1.

Rutgers University student Kieriana Sadler said she saw pros and cons about the census.

“I could see how the numbers pulled from the census would affect job openings and school funding but I do feel it may have a negative effect on minorities,” she said. “I feel it could perpetuate racial stereotypes.”

Rutgers graduate Daniel Morley expressed concerns about the cost of conducting the census and the potentially invasive nature of collecting the data.

“I know that having an accurate count is important for how the governemnt allocates its funds but I think it’s a little expensive, $15 billion, which to me is a lot, but it does give people short-term jobs,” he said. “Overall, I understand that it’s important but I’m worried about what kind of information they will be gathering and that being intrusive.”

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