With less than a month to go before the U.S. Census 2020 deadline, the push is on for Newark residents to fill out their forms and keep Newark as New Jersey’s largest city.

Newark residents who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census are being given an incentive in the form of $50 ShopRite gift cards.

Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. outside of the main branch of the Newark Public Library at 5 Washington Street, people who receive one-on-one assistance to complete the Census online will receive a gift card. The incentive is for Newark residents (identification required) and one gift card per family will be given while supplies last.

This Thursday, September 3, at noon, at City Hall the first 150 Newark residents who come to fill out Census forms will also receive a $50 gift card.

These incentives are in addition to the $1,000 award for the winner of the “Newark Census Selfie Contest” which will run through the end of the month. The contest rules are simple: Fill out the Census form online, take a creative selfie as proof it has been completed, then email to NewarkCounts@gmail.com with a #NewarkCounts hashtag.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka said there is far more at stake for Newark residents to complete the Census than just to maintain bragging rights as the state’s largest city.

“We are at a time in history where it is more important than ever for Newark’s population to be accurately counted, so that our city and its residents can receive their fair share of federal aid and support, and that we are properly represented in the U.S. Congress and State Legislature,” Baraka said. “I urge our residents to make sure they stand up and get counted by September 30 in the Census, as well as at the ballot box when it’s time to vote.”

Mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Census is taken every 10 years and determines how Congressional districts are drawn and how federal funds are appropriated. These funds touch nearly every aspect of life in Newark, including education, housing, healthcare and all other federal aid that flows into the city.

This weekend, the “Census Train” will also visit neighborhoods in each ward to help residents get counted. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Elwood Avenue and Mount Prospect Avenue areas, the Census Train will bring a float, DJ, and giveaways to intersections of Broad Street and Market Street, South Orange Avenue and Fairmount Avenue, Ferry Street and Wilson Avenue and travel down Elizabeth Avenue.

Residents with more than 10 people in their household are urged to answer the Census online. Print guides for the Census are available in 59 languages at: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/language-resources/language-guides.html

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