OKC, Tulsa mayors take on Census challenge
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has added an extra incentive to better encourage residents to complete the 2020 Census.
Holt answered the challenge of Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum to see which city will have the best census response rate. Results will be announced later this month.
“Everybody in Oklahoma City needs to be counted despite this coronavirus pandemic that we’re dealing with. We still need to take care of business, and we still need to respond to the census,” Holt said. “So I wanted to give our residents a little bit of encouragement. We have been challenged by Mayor G.T. Bynum to have a better response rate than them.”
The two city mayors agreed that the payoff would be the city winning the challenge will have its flag flown at the city hall of the other.
“I don’t want to see that any more than you do,” Holt said. “Let’s do our part and make certain our flag is flying in Tulsa.”
Leaders across the state are encouraging residents to complete the 2020 Census because of its impact on federal funding for the state and the determination of representation in congress. Persons are encouraged to call 844-330-2020 or complete the form online at my2020census.gov.
The survey typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Oklahoma is hoping to reverse a costly trend that led to a decade-lasting shortfall in federal revenues by undercounting nearly 30,000 residents 10 years ago.
“In 2010, Oklahoma had the second-highest undercount in the nation, so Oklahoma was in 48th place,” said Drew Dugan, Chamber vice president of education. “Every person that is not counted will cost our community $1,675 per year. We simply cannot let that happen again.”
The U.S. Census Bureau developed the 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge to connect the importance of the census to individual communities. The challenge allows local leaders an opportunity to educate people about how they can shape their future.