NC COUNTS COALITION TO WRAP-UP #COUNTNCKIDS 2020 CENSUS WEEK OF ACTION WITH MURAL UNVEILING

BY CHILD ARTIST, JUSTINE HEINEN

1. Who: NC Counts Coalition

2. What: NC Count Coalition, in collaboration with the City of Raleigh, will conclude its #CountNCKids 2020 Census Week of Action with a new community mural in the form of sidewalk art inspired by the importance of counting young children in the 2020 Census. The featured artist is Justine Heinen, a nine-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina.

“NC Counts Coalition is delighted to collaborate with the City of Raleigh on this innovative and inspiring mural project,” said Stacey Carless, Executive Director of NC Counts Coalition. “In addition to creating a platform for emerging artists, this project will raise awareness about the importance of the 2020 Census while embracing Raleigh’s diversity and celebrating inclusion.”

About the Artist: Justine Heinen, Age 11

“I’m Justine Heinen, a fifth-grader at Douglas Elementary school in Raleigh. I believe that kids should be counted in the census, which is what inspired me to draw Kids Count. I mean, we are humans, after all. Plus, we’re the adults of the future! And I tell my friends about the census. So this is why I believe that kids, like everyone do count!”

Justine’s mural is the first of nine to be featured throughout Raleigh. NC Counts Coalition will continue featuring mural artists and their outwork over the next couple of months as the Census operation continues into the end of October.

NC Counts Coalition and NC Child have designated Monday, July 20 through Saturday, July 25 as “Count NC Kids Week of Action.” Count NC Kids Week of Action is a week-long statewide campaign to encourage families to count North Carolina’s young children in the 2020 Census. The2010 Census missed more than two million children under five, costing states $550 million per year in lost federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, foster care, adoption and childcare services. On average schools lost $1,695 per year for every school-aged child missed. North Carolina failed to count an estimated 25,000 young children in the 2010 Census and could miss an estimated 73,000 young children in the 2020 Census.

3. When and Where:

July 24, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Alexander Family YMCA, 1603 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27605. Justine Heinen (Artist), Stacey Carless (Executive Director of NC Counts Coalition) and Byron Laws (NC Counts Community Engagement Coordinator for Wake County and Art Counts project manager)

4. Why: Why The Census:

The message is simple and can be summarized with three C’s:

(1) Responding to the census is convenient. Households can respond by mail, phone (1-844-330-2020), or online (www.my2020Census.gov)

(2) The census is 100% confidential and secure. Census information will not be shared with anyone

(3) It is essential that everyone is counted because the 2020 Census is critical to the economic and general well-being of North Carolinians.

The Census directly affects the allocation of $23.8 billion annually in federal resources to North Carolina. Additionally, it provides key decision-makers with the information they need to ensure that government resources are directed strategically to the state’s communities. Also, the Census ensures that communities are appropriately represented in the statehouse and in Congress. With an accurate 2020 Census count, North Carolina is projected to gain a seat in the House of Representatives, increasing its representation from 13 to 14 representatives.

Current State of The Census in North Carolina

The 2020 Census began in North Carolina on March 12, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 19, 2020, North Carolina remains one of the lowest-performing states for Census participation.

- As of July 22, 2020, 58.5% of households had self-responded to the Census, below the national average of 64.8% and the 2010 self-response rate of 64.8%

- North Carolina is ranked 36 out of 50 states and Washington DC – for Census self-response participation.

- Five southeastern states outrank North Carolina in self-response: Virginia (66.9%), Kentucky (65.4%), Tennessee (61.5%), Alabama (59.8%), and Florida (59.2%)

- Wake County’s self-response rate as of July 22, 2020 is 67.7%

The US Census Bureau has extended the deadline for participation to October 31, 2020.

​- More Census mural art will be visible around the City of Raleigh within the next week.

About NC Counts Coalition:

NC Counts Coalition was established in 2017 to prepare North Carolina for the 2020 Census. The Coalition serves as a hub to facilitate cross-sector coordination among government, planning and community organizations, service providers, businesses and others to achieve a complete and accurate Census count for North Carolina. For more information go to our website at www.nccensus.org