With the U.S. Census efforts ending early nationwide, Renton City Leaders are pushing for one last major event to make sure everyone is counted— Renton Census Countdown Day, Aug. 22. So far, 72.2% of residents have been counted.
The city has already been able to claim the victory of a high census success rate compared to the 63% response rate nationally, and the state’s 69.6% rate. The rate has been bolstered by the city’s Census campaigning since 2019, and hiring of a Census Coordinator. The city has also used local nonprofits and community leaders that rigorously volunteered to get the word out, like this event in January.
Although the campaign hit a major in-person roadblock with the COVID-19 pandemic, which altered or cancelled some events planned around the census, Renton still saw an increase in turnout.
In the Mayor’s Weekly Newsletter, the city announced the upcoming three-event census countdown day, Saturday, Aug. 22. The drive-thru events in Benson Hill, downtown and Sunset area will include multilingual census staff that will assist completing census forms and free ice cream treats, from 2 to 4 p.m. at:
- Benson Hill Fred Meyer, 17801 108th Ave. SE
- 200 Mill Building, 200 Mill Ave. S
- Fire Station 12, 1210 Jefferson Ave. NE
There will also be $10 gift certificates and downtown Renton businesses’ coupons courtesy of the Renton Chamber of Commerce. The city also suggests decorating your car to attract others to complete the census.
In the 2010 census, Renton has low turnout and struggled to reach its hard-to-count communities, especially Talbot Hill and Benson Hill, as previously reported in Renton Reporter.
The census count impacts numerous federal funds for Renton, including school lunches, buses, community block grants, infrastructure funding and much-needed Section Eight housing vouchers.
As the city stated on it’s flyer for the event, “it’s un-cone-stitutional not to fill out your census.” More information on completing the census is available in the Renton Counts e-brochure or you can fill out yours at my2020census.gov.