DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If you haven’t taken the 2020 census at home, the Dayton-Montgomery County census van may be pulling up to a location in your neighborhood.
The census van, which is equipped with WiFi and tablets, gives community members who don’t have internet access a chance to complete the survey. Chair of the Dayton-Montgomery County Complete Count Committee, Nikol Miller, said they began operating the mobile census unit after receiving a $15,000 grant from the National League of Cities to promote census participation. Miller also explained this is the first time the census is being offered online, and statistics from Dayton, Trotwood, Jefferson Twp, and Harrison Twp, indicate that people still feel more comfortable with mail-in responses. She said the goal of the van is to bridge the gap, providing better access to the resources needed to complete the survey.
“It’s organizations – neighborhood organizations, churches, people who have an understanding of how important [it is] that we make sure everyone is counted. It generates, according to a George Washington University study, $1,800 per person, per year. So that’s $18,000 throughout the decade [that] comes back to your community based on who lives where.”
Miller said these funds, which are allocated by the federal government, pay for things like school lunches, WIC, and Medicaid programs to name a few. She also explained that responses could have an influence on the longer-term economic health of the area.
“People are making decisions every day based on who lives where, what businesses come here, which businesses leave. So it’s important that our voice is heard and it starts by completing your census.”
To complete the survey online, or to book the census van to be stationed at your organization, visit www.daytonohio.gov/census or you can call (844)330-2020.
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