Census campaign in overdrive in Newark to prevent undercount

Cyril Josh Barker | 9/10/2020, midnight
Officials in Newark are in high gear to get residents to fill out the 2020 Census.

Officials in Newark are in high gear to get residents to fill out the 2020 Census. They’re even going as far as giving incentives to participate.

With less than a month to go before the deadline, the push is on for Newark residents to fill out their forms and keep Newark as New Jersey’s largest city. Residents who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census are being given $50 ShopRite gift cards.

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. outside of the main branch of the Newark Public Library at 5 Washington Street, people who receive one-on-one assistance to complete the Census online will receive a gift card. The incentive is for Newark residents and one gift card per family will be given while supplies last.

Last week, City Hall gave the first 150 Newark residents who come to fill out Census forms a $50 gift card. These incentives are in addition to the $1,000 award for the winner of the “Newark Census Selfie Contest” which will run through the end of the month.

“We are at a time in history where it is more important than ever for Newark’s population to be accurately counted, so that our city and its residents can receive their fair share of federal aid and support, and that we are properly represented in the U.S. Congress and State Legislature,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “I urge our residents to make sure they stand up and get counted by September 30 in the Census, as well as at the ballot box when it’s time to vote.”

Last weekend, the “Census Train” visited Newark neighborhoods in each ward to help residents get counted. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Elwood Avenue and Mount Prospect Avenue areas, the Census Train brought a float, DJ, and giveaways to intersections of Broad Street and Market Street, South Orange Avenue and Fairmount Avenue, Ferry Street and Wilson Avenue and traveled down Elizabeth Avenue.