An Eastie organization has been awarded Rapid Response Grants to support the 2020 Census by the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund (MCEF).
Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) will use the grant money for outreach and education.
The grants by the MCEF went to some of the hardest to count communities in Massachusetts, as well as communities that were among those hit the hardest by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are living through an unprecedented time. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic at the starting moment of the 2020 census we know now more than ever that a full and accurate census count is facing serious challenges,” said Chair of MCEF Alexie Torres. “MCEF has joined with our national funding partners in seeing a need for additional resources to our hardest to count communities.”
Founded in 2008, NUBE is an organization that mentors community leaders who support social transformation and shifting political power. NUBE’s leaders organize and advocate for inclusive democratic processes and just public policies to create a vibrant economy and environment for all East Boston.
NUBE’s work is guided by a commitment to developing a more just, understanding, and sustainable neighborhood. NUBE believes that leaders, who live its values and intentionally engage in social, economic, and political life, will help create alternative systems and structures that promote social transformation.
Since being created, NUBE has Increased voter turnout 10-15 percent in recent elections in precincts with a high density of people of color.
Having an accurate 2020 Census count fits right into NUBE’s mission to transform the lives and amplify the voices of Eastie residents who have been excluded from prosperity by an inequitable economic system.
This year the United States will conduct its decennial census. In Boston there’s been a huge push to ensure a fair and complete count in the 2020 U.S. Census because it determines everything from representation in Congress, to federal funds for schools, affordable housing, infrastructure and health care programs.
MCEF used real-time census response rate data and knowledge of the impacts of the pandemic to make rapid-response grants between $500 to $5,000 for additional outreach activities. Organizations in these regions, who work with hard-to-count populations including communities of color, are struggling to increase Census response rates while simultaneously responding to communities’ needs, which have been increasing in the wake of COVID-19.
Historically, certain populations are “hard-to-count” in the census. Urban and rural areas with large low-income populations, people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers, migrant workers, ex-offenders, young children, the elderly, those who are disabled, renters, the homeless, and those living in mobile homes or multi-unit residences are historically hard-to-count.
To date, MCEF has awarded $1 million in grants targeting support for grassroots organizations coordinating education and outreach initiatives in “hard-to-count” communities across the Commonwealth. MCEF plans to release another round of grants later this month.