Not sure what our State Senator is doing, but the other Senator from up the street asked me to join him to moderate a panel yesterday on the Census and what needs to be done in these next 5-weeks to count as many people as we can. The panel’s featured speakers were Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Mike Ranck from Delco Counts, Daisy Artiles-Strekis from The Foundation for Delaware County, and Regina Mauro from the Philadelphia Regional Census Center.

They gave their perspective from the federal, regional, county, and local level discussing the Census. The one thing they all had in common was mentioning Chester City and the dismal number of people who have completed the Census survey in our city. 

Oh, they gave a ton of reasons why people in hard-to-reach areas like Chester don’t respond to the Census. They also gave the single reason why places in Chester need to respond – MO’ MONEY!

You’ve got until September 30 to take the 5 minutes needed to complete your Census online at It’s safe, secure, and not shared with your landlord or the immigration agents. 

It’s estimated that each person counted on the Census amounts to $2000 in services for your community in some way, shape, or form. After looking at the Receivers Recovery Plan, you’d think it would be a crime for anyone to not fill out a Census in Chester. In fact, they should be paying people to fill it out if that’s legal. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer article today says…

But in Chester City neighborhoods along the Delaware River, just 34% of households have responded to the census. The city’s overall rate is 44.8%. Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams has been going to senior centers and community gatherings and knocking on doors to encourage participation. She said she’s finding that people don’t understand how important the census is to the city and aren’t taking it seriously. Some haven’t opened any of the mail the Census Bureau has sent.

Chester is the last place to leave 66% of potential money on the table.

At some point, Chester folks have to start caring about money. The Receiver’s report hasn’t created a buzz on my blog’s radar; hardly no one took advantage of the $19/hour jobs the Census were begging Chester folks to take to count folks in our own city; and the Census overall is an afterthought with so many around here.

The Census folks are mounting a full court press to get as many counted as possible. I’m almost convinced they’re going to use their limited resources to knock on doors where people are most likely to answer the door and respond and from the looks of things that ain’t Chester City, unfortunately. 

We heard where some black neighborhoods in Philly have people with megaphones strapped to their cars going around getting folk’s attention. But, Chester Census season is like campaign season – quiet as a church mouse. 

A closed mouth don’t get fed and an unopened Census envelope keeps services away from the city for schools, parks, etc. 

Check here for a video of the Census forum. It should be up later today