Richmond, Oakland neck and neck in Census challenge

Richmond, Oakland neck and neck in Census challenge
Image shared by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Facebook Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.

It’s anyone’s game. Richmond and Oakland are in a tight race to see who can get as many of their residents to complete the 2020 Census.

On social media Monday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf posted a chart stating Oakland’s response rate is 65.8 percent, with Richmond right on its tail at 65.6 percent.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt entered into the friendly challenge with Mayor Schaaf and both are urging residents of their respective cities to fill out the Census questionnaire ASAP. The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The contest ends Aug. 10, although residents can continue to fill out the Census until Oct. 31 using all three methods, online, mail and phone (see below for instructions on each).

The winning mayor will accept a gift basket of local goods from their challenger. But there is so much more at stake than bragging rights.

A high response rate in the Census is essential for cities to secure sufficient federal funding over the next 10 years to support services like hospitals, school lunches, road repair and more. The Census is confidential and does not include any citizenship questions.

Richmond and Oakland are both considered “hard to count” communities at risk of being undercounted.

3 ways to respond:

  • Online:
  • Mail: Using the paper questionnaire that was mailed out to households with a regular mailing address in April.
  • Phone: Call 844-330-2020 (Español: 844-468-2020) and complete the form with assistance. Phone lines are supported in 12 non-English languages, with the list available here. The Census typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete.