The Community Action Organization of Western New York (CAO) is working hard to increase 2020 U.S. participation across Western New York by launching the “Help Us Help You: Count Yourself” campaign. The antipoverty organization is concerned the count is going to be underestimated, therefore leading to less funding for Head Start programs, highways and other critical programming needed for Buffalo’s increasing population.
To combat the low census participation in the region, CAO’s youth services and Head Start teams will begin canvassing every parent/guardian who drops off or picks up a student enrolled in CAO programming. Tablets were donated to CAO this past spring for its census initiative and will be used to help individuals complete the online census survey.
President and CEO L. Nathan Hare has made increasing the census participation his main priority, as the Sept. 30 deadline is coming up.
“It is important for all of Western New York to understand that even the slightest uptick in population after decades of economic decline will bolster the city's federal aid prospects,” Hare said. “We need to get as close to 100% participation as possible, because there is a large possibility of losing one of our congressional seats in Washington without it.”
The Community Action Organization of WNY was designated in 1965 as the official antipoverty agency for Erie County with a mission to serve the unmet needs of the low-income population. Today, CAO serves more than 50,000 families and individuals within Erie and Niagara counties through a variety of programs and services. Visit caowny.org for more information.