This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that on Saturday, August 1st, Essex County will host a caravan to raise awareness about the US Census and motivate residents to complete their Census questionnaire. Essex County will be joined by a coalition of partners, including Secretary of State Tahisha Way.

“Being counted in the Census is important because the Federal money we receive for schools, roads, hospitals and other programs is based on population numbers. Completing your Census questionnaire ensures you are counted and we are receiving the Federal support we deserve. We hope our caravan reminds you to complete the census and we look forward to seeing you share your pride in your community,” DiVincenzo said.

It will be held as follows:

Date: Saturday, August 1, 2020
Times: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Places: Traveling through Newark, Irvington, Orange and East Orange

The caravan will begin at the Essex County Hall of Records in Newark and pass by several Essex County parks, including Weequahic Park on Elizabeth Avenue, Irvington Park on Lyons Avenue, Ivy Hill Park on Mount Vernon Place, Vailsburg Park on South Orange Avenue, Monte Irvin Orange Park on Central Avenue, Watsessing Park on Glenwood Avenue and Independence Park on Oliver Street.

The caravan will include a digital message board to provide information about the Census and where to complete it, a float that will have a DJ playing music and a mobile billboard. Census representatives and partners will engage pedestrians and caravan watchers, sharing information about the Census, encouraging people to complete their questionnaire and distributing free giveaways. Local elected officials and Census representatives have been invited to join the caravan. Nonprofit organizations have been invited to host various Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) events along the route.

Information gathered from the Census helps direct hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding each year. These funds pay for important programs such as Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, school lunch programs, road repairs, healthcare, and so much more. Census results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. That is why local governments, nonprofits and businesses have partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to boost self-response rates. These Census partners are making special efforts to connect with residents who are least likely to respond to the 2020 Census on their own. The self-response rate in Essex County is currently at 57 percent compared to 64.5 percent for the state.