Partner Name: The City of Carthage, Illinois
About: Carthage's partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau began in July 2019 with the formation of the city's Complete Count Committee. Working with Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Ken Young, the committee has recruited for 2020 Census jobs, educated the public about the importance of the census, and encouraged residents to complete the 2020 Census. The city has conducted census outreach through faith-based communities, and Mayor James Nightingale sent a letter to every resident reminding them about the importance of completing the Census.
Carthage Community Development Director Amy Graham, also the Complete Count Committee's liaison to the Census Bureau, is aware of the unique outreach challenges in the city's rural communities. To address these challenges, the committee has adapted its approach by sending multiple mailings to residences, partnering with local community organizations, working with local media to incorporate census messaging, and doing outreach through schools so students and parents can both be reached.
Young worked with the city of Carthage to promote the census at farmers markets across Hancock County, Illinois. At the markets, Graham met with residents, educating them about the importance of the census and encouraging them to self-respond. Market goers were also given census giveaways and handouts about how the census directly affects rural communities.
"Census outreach in Carthage has been multilayered, with postcards mailed to residents, large banners and yard signs strategically placed, a census winery crawl, and weekly appearances at the farmers market as well as television and radio advertising."
—Carthage Community Development Director Amy Graham