Norwalk, CT - Compelling stories and stimulating conversations about impact being made throughout Fairfield County is the inspiration for the newest initiative of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF). The Community Foundation launched episode four of their podcast series, Fairfield County Thrives, earlier this month focusing on the Census 2020.
“Our collective work of creating communities in which everyone has an opportunity to thrive relies on getting a complete census count. That’s especially true for the most vulnerable of our neighbors, including our growing immigrant population. But the effort faces challenges, from a climate of fear in immigrant households to the prevalence of hard-to-count area,” states Juanita James, President and CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
In episode four of Fairfield County Thrives, CENSUS 2020 — COMPLETE COUNT, the Community Foundation’s President and CEO, Juanita James had three conversations with though leaders in Connecticut who are playing an important role in Connecticut’s Census 2020. Their conversation focuses on the impact the 2020 census will have locally, state-wide, and nationally.
First, Ms. James spoke with Connecticut’s Lieutenant Governor Susan Byseiwicz, who is chair of the Connecticut Complete Count Committee, an advisory panel of community leaders who represent diverse populations from across the state including elected officials, faith leaders, community health centers, chambers of commerce, community activists and heads of housing authorities. When asked why Connecticut residents should care about being counted in the census, Lt. Gov. Byseiwicz replied, “It's so important to Connecticut because the state received almost $11 billion a year in federal funding based on how many people we have living in our state. And for every person that we undercount, we lose $2,900 in funding and that funding goes to more than fifty-five very important federal programs that every community takes advantage of.”
Ms. James also spoke with Terri Ann Lowenthal, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the census and serves on the state’s and the City of Stamford’s Complete Count Committees and lives and works in Stamford, CT.
Rounding this important exchange about Census 2020, Barbara Lopez was interviewed. She is the director of Make The Road Connecticut, a nonprofit organization that engages and supports low-income and working class Latinos living in Bridgeport and Hartford. This organization has become a powerful voice on immigrant rights, worker rights, education equity, LGBTQ justice, women's rights and more.
The census is a critical tool that shapes representation, policy and funding. Redistricting in 2022 will rely on the census. About $10.7 billion of Connecticut’s annual federal funding is determined by the census, supporting programs desperately needed in our communities – from Medicaid and Head Start to student loans and highway funding.
To learn more about your community and Census 2020, join us at the Community Foundation and listen to Fairfield County Thrives, episode four here.
Juanita James also commented, “In the course of our work at the Community Foundation, we want to bring the issues critical to our community to the forefront of our thoughts and minds. Census 2020 is one of those critical issues. I hope you can take some time to listen.”
Fairfield County Thrives podcast episodes are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and most anywhere you get podcasts. Listen now and subscribe. Each monthly episode will bring you voices and stories from people who are making a difference in Fairfield County. For more information, go to https://fccfoundation.org/podcasts/.