Census Legacies Toolkit

Civic Engagement

Inclusive Civic Engagement

Historically undercounted communities traditionally face similar challenges to engagement  as they face during the Census Count. Economic, political, and social barriers to access impacts political representation. Sustain community engagement can be costly and time consuming, however research shows active awareness of local events and policies is a critical component to thriving neighborhoods. Representative democracy can only thrive when citizens are informed decision-makers and are engaged in civic activities. Common barriers to participation include:

Lack of Information: Under-counted communities traditionally do not receive similar voter information or attention from political candidates.

Lack of Trust: Under-counted communities, who have a history of lack of representation, find it difficult to trust their representatives to seek their interest.

Lack of Access: Institutional barriers, such as election laws and administration, can also prevent full civic engagement. 

Census coalitions brought together the most inclusive tables ever built, with historically undercounted communities that range from Native Americans and other Indigenous groups, to Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, and residents who are young, LGBTQ+, homeless, veterans, people with disabilities, and more. Census coalitions provide a wide, diverse, and inclusive base of community groups and stakeholder institutions (government agencies, philanthropy, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and more) that can strengthen the civic infrastructure of a region.