North side leaders have unique way of getting residents to take 2020 Census

If you live or have connections to Madison’s north side, enjoy talking to your neighbors and are looking for a part-time gig, a census outreach worker might be the perfect position for you.

The Northside Planning Council is hiring four to six outreach workers — not to be confused with federal census workers — whose job will be to increase participation in the 2020 census.

Madison’s north side has several pockets that are considered “hard to count,” such as people who are low income, people of color and immigrants.

“We find that lots of immigrants and people of color and low income residents really struggle with institutions,” said the council’s executive director, Abha Thakkar. “The census, along with all of the national hype and challenges around it, is just another manifestation of an institution that some folks are going to struggle to trust. So our goal is to help bridge that.”

Thakkar said the goal is to help make neighbors understand that it’s important to fill out census forms because that data determines their representation in government and decides how federal funds in distributed to services north side neighbors use.

“I see the census as an opportunity to kind of secure the north side’s future,” said Charisse Johnson, who will oversee the new workers.

The council is offering $15 per hour for about three to six hours a week. The positions are paid for through a city grant of $20,000.

The deadline to apply is Monday.

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