Gainesville kicks off Census-A-Thon

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 9:00 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - With nearly 40% of U.S. households yet to complete the 2020 census, local community partners are teaming up to increase participation by holding a virtual three-day Census-A-Thon.

The city of Gainesville, Alachua County, Greater Gainesville Chamber and the School Board of Alachua County kicked off it’s Census-A-Thon on Wednesday to raise awareness of the population count.

Gainesville will continue to host the Census-A-Thon on the city’s YouTube channel at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10.

Strategic Initiatives Manager of Alachua County, Sean McLendon, said as of July 7, Gainesville has had over 36,000 households complete the census, which means the city is at a 58% response rate.

Gainesville’s goal is to have an 80% response rate before the census deadline on October 31.

“We had an undercount in our area and as a result we lost $39 million a year,” said Jessica Turner-Evans, the census coordinator for the city of Gainesville. “So over the course of a decade from 2010 to 2020 we lost $390 million that could’ve gone to crucial programs.”

The census can be filled out by phone by calling 844-330-2020, mailing your paper questionnaire—be sure to use blue or black ink and not a pencil, or fill out the census on the internet at

Individuals may enter the Census-A-Thon drawing at bit.Ly/censusathon and participation is open to those who have already completed the census as well as those who have yet to respond.

“Go ahead and complete your census,” Turner-Evans said. “It only takes 10 minutes but it holds an impact worth over the next 10 years.”

The 2020 Census count is used to determine government representation and federal funding for the area for the next ten years.

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