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Efforts to Increase 2020 Census Participation in Collier County & Immokalee

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League of Women Voters of Collier County's Collier County Complete Census Count Committee
Volunteers distributing information about the 2020 Census.

A federal judge recently issued an order that extended the deadline for residents of the United States to complete the 2020 census until October 31. The U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for producing data about the American people and economy, primarily by conducting the U.S. Census every ten years. Its results allocate seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; they determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds is allocated every year; and help states, local communities, and businesses make informed decisions like where to build, hospitals, transportation infrastructure, and police and fire departments.

Here in southwest Florida the farmworker community of Immokalee has historically been undercounted. In 2010 about 34% of residents participated, and with just weeks left to go that number is currently less than 25%. We learn about efforts to increase those numbers, and increase overall participation rates in Southwest Florida with Susan Housel from the League of Women Voters of Collier County. She is a member of the League’s Collier County Complete Census Count Committee, its Voter Services Committee, and is co-chair of its Minority Voter Services committee. We also talk with Lisa Loren, Immokalee Unmet Needs Coordinator for the Unmet Needs Coalition of Collier County, and a member of the LWVCC's Collier County Complete Census Count Committee.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.