A Maryland Census Champion is a person or group that has gone above and beyond in spreading the Census message in their community. Census Champions have devised innovative ways to get their community engaged in completing the Census. The individual or group being nominated could be a member of a local complete committee, a faith leader, a business leader/owner, or even someone in the community making a difference. We will post the recipients of the Census Champion in our weekly Census Newsletter and on social media.Download the Census Champion Nomination form (Microsoft Word or Acrobat Fillable Form) and nominate a champion in your community today.
May 29, 2020
Our first Census Champion designated is Ray Dintino, owner and operator of ColorCraft Business Printing, Inc. in Millersville. ColorCraft is a small business enterprise and Ray is a veteran.
June 5, 2020
Jordyn Kuczak is the Communication Technology Assistant to the Public Relations and Special Events Coordinator at the Worcester County Board of Education and is the education representative to the Worcester County Complete Count Committee. "From the very start Jordyn stepped up to the plate to design all of the 'branding' for 2020 Census Worcester campaign while managing her responsibilities at the Board of Education. Jordyn has designed pull-up banners, table runners, table tents, flyers, register receipts, banners and social media posts." states Kelly Henry, Complete Count Coordinator for Worcester County.
Dr. Richard Midcap is the President of Garrett College. Thomas Vose, Director of the Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County and Census Coordinator for the county has this say about Dr. Midcap: "Dr. Midcap has been exemplary in his support of the Census project in Garrett County, working closely with the Bureau to deliver campus figures, volunteering the use of his space and staff for an in-person Census site, and ensuring that Census promotional materials are included in his marketing and website."
Shawna Kearsley, Executive Director of the Crisfield Arts Syndicate, used her social media skills and community connections to create a Census film challenge, regularly post on social media, and organize food distribution for the residents in Crisfield. She was always quick to provide input and solutions, and took every opportunity to hand out flyers, talk about the Census, and post encouragements on social media. Kristen M. Tremblay, Census Coordinator for Somerset County, has this to say about Shawna, "I feel blessed to have had her as part of the team, and am glad to have met her throughout this process. I now have a friend for life!"
Pastor Carroll Linwood Mills as the leader of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church is more than a leader, he is an inspiration. He attended all of Somerset County's Complete Count Committee meetings. Under Pastor Mills' leadership, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church led food distribution mission where church members took the opportunity to hand out hundreds of flyers and census related materials to residents in need. Pastor Mills always brought a smile, and his team of volunteers were like a well-oiled machine. "I had the opportunity to get to know him and his parishioners and feel more connected to my community as a result. Somerset County is lucky to have him," said Kristen Tremblay, Census Coordinator for Somerset County.
June 12, 2020
Sara Arnold, Carroll County Public Library, is Library Associate II at the Mt. Airy branch. She has attended state and national workshops and conferences on the topic of community preparation for the U.S. Census. Sara has trained Carroll County Public Library staff on how libraries can engage and support Census efforts and is involved in the Maryland Library Association and its Future of Libraries Task Force. She serves as an active member of the Carroll Census Education, Youth, and Libraries workgroup and as co-chair of the Seniors workgroup. She offered two training sessions for community partners on Census 2020, the new online census form, and how best to provide assistance to the people they serve. Sara has gone above and beyond all expectations with keen insights, high-quality efforts, and ability to strengthen community collaboration.
Dave Battaglia has been an outstanding asset to the Maryland Department of Planning's marketing efforts for the 2020 Census. He has gone above and beyond in assisting the State of Maryland reach hard-to-count communities to encourage Census completion. We applaud his commitment and perseverance during these challenging times and thank him for his continued dedication.
June 19, 2020
Courtney Brohawn is the Project Coordinator for the Frederick County Public Libraries. She serves on the Frederick County Complete County Committee and has been a powerful supporter of our efforts to reach out to residents of Frederick County. As a member of the CCC, she played a vital role in developing strategies to communicate the importance of completing the Census to our community. Early on in our efforts, she printed and posted fliers, localized for our audience, in all of the libraries to encourage everyone to complete the census. When our CCC created Census stickers for restaurants throughout Frederick County to place on carry-out meals, Courtney was the first person to reach out to the restaurants and obtain their approval to use the stickers.
June 19, 2020
As Chairman of the Wicomico County 2020 Census Faith Based Sub-Committee, Mr. Lee has been the point of contact from our steering the Wicomico County Complete Count Committee for all faith-based organizations and has been the lead organizer of our Faith based Community breakfast and dinner meetings with leaders.
Karen Monteith, Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of Denton, has been the town's representative to the Caroline County Census team from the start. Karen has submitted grants for getting the Census messaging out to county and town residents and has involved staff to continually post Census information on the town's website.
July 2, 2020
Michael Kent continually reaffirms his commitment to persuade all his colleagues in his network to respond to Census 2020. It is woven into every action he undertakes. He has aligned his narrative to show the need of every county resident to be counted, and to bring in more federal funds for public health and economic development. Michael has consistently shared his knowledge of how to reach certain hard-to-reach communities, including the black and illiterate populations. He has spoken to numerous community groups about the importance of the Census, emphasizing family history as a way to convince people how important it is to participate. Michael participated in the Calvert County 2020 Census public service announcement video. He has been a true asset to the county's complete count committee.
July 2, 2020
Councilmember Deni Taveras (Prince George's County, District 2) has been, and continues to be, an energetic voice in messaging the crucial need of a complete Census count. She has made public press appearances to educate her constituents, many considered to be in hard-to-count communities. The Councilmember’s office has made achieving an accurate Census count a major priority, demonstrated by their offering of a Census phone bank training designed to teach volunteers to provide real-time information, in English and Spanish, to community members who need assistance completing their census form. Councilmember Taveras is an active member of the Maryland Latino Census Coalition. She has involved not only non-profit organizations in the area but also other government agencies, faith based organizations, and institutions of higher education. Simply said, Councilmember Taveras involves everyone in the community.
As Co-Chair of the Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee, Sonya has gone above and beyond in promoting, creating, and encouraging the Census and ways for residents to complete it. She is always promoting Census events and videos on her many Facebook pages and, with assistance from Co-Chair Dr. Brante Dashiell, is the heartbeat of the Census in Wicomico County!
July 2, 2020
Daryl Boffman, executive director of public affairs, and his team from the Frederick County Public Schools are playing a valuable role in reaching out to the families and students in Frederick County communicating the value of completing the 2020 Census. Daryl serves as a member of the county's complete count committee. From the beginning of the county’s efforts, Daryl never hesitated to answer calls for help with projects. He was the point person for the effort to insert Census information into the meals being provided to students before and during COVID-19. Most recently, he suggested inserting fliers into report cards of those students attending schools where the largest hard-to-count population reside. Through the efforts of many Frederick County Public Schools employees, fliers went to more than 11,000 students and their families.
July 10, 2020
The Calvert County Complete Count Committee’s Interfaith Census Champion, Marianne Roberts, is able to accomplish the elusive achievement of reaching congregations of every faith. A number of the county's religious minority residents are immigrants and among the under-counted population. She reached out to these religious leaders in every community to try and obtain the maximum self response from this group. She was unrelenting in her attempts to get posters put up in full view in local post offices. She has spent a great deal of time communicating with the congregations to spread the word about the 2020 Census and always comes up with thoughtful comments and ideas at committee meetings.
Even before September 2019, when the City of Rockville launched its “Everyone Counts” campaign, Hjarman Cordero has been a tireless champion for the entire Rockville community, advocating and raising awareness for the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. The Census is one of the Rockville mayor and council’s central priorities and Hjarman has been at the forefront of this effort, reaching out to the community in numerous ways through the city’s Public Information and Community Engagement Division. He acts as the liaison with Montgomery County government, the Montgomery County Complete Count Committee, the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and the U.S. Census Bureau. His hard work has focused on the hard-to-reach Rockville neighborhoods and communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income and homeless families, non-English speakers, and isolated seniors. He personally assembled approximately 100 Census yard signs placing them in eight neighborhoods with low response rates. Hjarman led the effort to create and include a census insert, in multiple key languages, in the April edition of the city’s newsletter sent to every home and business in Rockville. He delivered flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese to several multifamily housing units throughout the city. Under his leadership, the city placed window clings at key bus stops and in city facilities.
Julia Glanz, who in the past month made local news as the new acting Mayor of the City of Salisbury with the mayor’s recent military deployment, has been the lead marketing and media design coordinator for the Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee since its inception. Julia brings life, creative ideas, and unique solutions to the committee, which benefits greatly from her unique skill set.
Ms. Golshan Jalali has championed the Census effort through her expertise in social media messaging. Golshan has gone beyond her role in order to share the vital importance of the Census in creative ways and has used a design-oriented approach to provide content to multiple stakeholders. She tirelessly promoted Complete Count Committee events and initiatives through her design and social media acumen, including: Four “Count Me In” Series events in April; the “CountMDin” Digital Action Campaign; a thermometer/tracker and University of Maryland Toolkit displaying self-response rates of the state, Prince George’s County, and City of College Park in a creative way; and a Video Challenge offering prizes for short, creative videos created to educate the public on the Census. Golshan worked hard on student outreach at the University of Maryland at College Park, including posting Census banners at prominent campus lectures and events, working with the VP of Student Affairs to send email sent to students informing them on where and how to respond to the Census, and creating a faculty presentation for sharing with students. Golshan has consistently capitalized on popular trends to highlight the Census, demonstrated by her vast portfolio of digital communication graphics and campaigns.
John Watson has been a valued member of the Maryland Department of Planning's Census 2020 Team for the past year. In fact, today marks his one-year anniversary on this project. As Maryland Census Outreach Coordinator, his work with local complete count committees and the state complete count committee has been instrumental to the success of the Maryland Census. John’s dedication to ensuring every Marylander is counted has made him invaluable to the Maryland Census Team.
July 17, 2020
Lori Carter, the Director of the Wicomico County Department of Planning, Zoning, and Community Development, is the strategist and planner for the Wicomico County Complete Count Committee and has been a driving force for the committee since its inception. Along with Co-Chair’s Sonya Whited and Dr. Brante Dashiell, Lori has spearheaded the media campaign for Wicomico County's Census effort and several neighboring counties.
As a leader on the City of College Park Complete Count Committee, Rya Griffis has forged partnerships with leadership at the University of Maryland and U.S Census Bureau in order to achieve an accurate count for an area often plagued with under counts due to a transient population. She was instrumental in spearheading a city-wide event, Census Palooza, designed to increase knowledge and excitement around the Census (unfortunately due to COVID-19 the event was cancelled). Finding other ways to generate interest to complete the Census, Rya served as a panelist on the “Count Me In” series shared on Instagram Live. She has also been at the forefront of counting the immense student population in College Park by partnering with landlords and property owners to educate students on where to count themselves. As a Master’s student in the UMD School of Public Health, she has effectively bridged the topics of COVID-19 and the medical resources secured by federal funding from Census data.
Anthony Nolan is Chief of the Special Programs Division in the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. His primary professional responsibilities include the management of childcare, countywide youth and senior programs, and therapeutic recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Anthony has gone above and beyond his professional responsibilities to support Census outreach activities, many of which have been held in facilities managed by his department. He has been extremely helpful, flexible, resourceful, and seemingly always available. As a member of the Complete Count Committee (CCC), Anthony serves as the co-chair of the Parks and Libraries subcommittee. Anthony has supported the participation of his colleague, Lynn Butler, in her role as the Senior Population subcommittee co-chair on the CCC. Their collaboration resulted in several innovative outreach activities such as Census Senior Bingo and other opportunities during COVID-19 to frequently communicate, engage, and keep in touch with our senior residents while reminding them to complete the census.
Senator Mary Beth Carozza represents some of Maryland’s most hard to count areas in the state. She has been an advocate for the Census in several ways including sending Census information to her constituents, sharing Census Social Media content, providing Census literature and information in her Annapolis Office for constituents, and implementing a “Take the Census” button on her emails that takes constituents directly to the form. Senator Carozza is the first Maryland legislator to include this button in her emails and to be named a Census Champion.
Kim Crispino has been active with the Town of Denton's Census outreach effort by attending every Farmers Market and Third Thursday event in town to promote and to have residents fill out their Census Forms on site. Kim also works on the print material used for Census outreach and maintains the Facebook page for the Visitor and Heritage Center to promote the Census.
July 24, 2020
Fai Nelson is actively engaged in Prince George’s County as a Census Ambassador for nonprofit and community based organizations. She has been a valuable member of the county's Complete Count Committee since October 2019. Fai has gone above and beyond by seeking out and initiating opportunities within the community to promote the Census. As a member of the Mocha Moms Northern Prince George’s County Chapter, she executed a Census Sound Off weekly series, covering topics such as why the Census is important – now even more crucial following COVID-19 – and what the data indicates for the county. Fai has contributed many hours of her personal time, volunteering and participating in numerous CCC events including hosting information tables, establishing Census Hubs in traditionally low response rate communities, conducting hundreds of telephone bank calls to county residents, developing Census public service announcements distributed on social media, and by engaging in several trainings and webinars.
Delegate Peña-Melnyk is a member of the Maryland Latino Census Coalition, a group of elected and appointed officials focused on counting hard-to-reach populations, and communities where English is not the first language in the household. Delegate Peña-Melnyk has attended food distributions to support her community during COVID-19, providing information on the Census. She has shared the importance of the Census as a panelist on multiple social media events, including the “Count Me In” Series on Instagram Live and “CountMDin: The Importance of the 2020 Census Amid Covid-19” on Facebook Live. On many occasions, she has shared her legislative expertise to explain, in English and Spanish, the valuable resources and funding provided by the Census.
William "BJ" Hall, president of the NAACP Chapter 7025, and Adrianne Dillahunt, Equity Coordinator for St. Mary’s County Public Schools, have taken every opportunity to advocate for completion of the 2020 Census. Both serve as members of the County’s Complete Count Committee. A big part of BJ's and Adrienne's outstanding effort is a weekly Facebook Live show they host called “Sunday’s in the Park,” where they continuously provide updates on the Census progress and advocate for completion.
Joni Martin Williamson has been outstanding in providing organizational resources promoting the 2020 Census to the agents in her firm, ERA Martin Associates, and the Coastal Association of REALTORS. Edward Lee, ERA, of the Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee stated that "this type of support from the business community goes a long way in reaching those residents that we are trying to reach."
July 31, 2020
Jesse Drewer joined the Wicomico County Department of Planning, Zoning, and Community Development in December of 2019, and since that day, has became active in helping the department with the 2020 Census efforts. Jesse's contributions to the county's Census campaign have been extraordinary. He brings talent, creativity, and willingness to help in any way. He assists the Co-Chair, Sonya Whited, with the Facebook page management, the setup of our Virtual Complete Count Committee, and community meetings. He worked with the local planning staff to create a Census tracking thermometer map. Jesse has helped lead local outreach by organizing and setting up Census footprints at community events where residents were able to complete their Census onsite. The Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee appreciates his commitment to wanting to see all residents of Wicomico County counted.
Lisa Orndorf has been active with the Census outreach effort by coordinating the Town of Denton's social media and web sites with current Census materials for Caroline County and the town. Lisa also works on print material used for Census outreach and maintains the Visitor and Heritage Center Facebook page to promote a complete count in the Census in 2020. Lisa also works on providing updates to the town on any questions received through the social media accounts.
Who best to take the lead to reach the under-counted minorities of every category in Calvert County than the Calvert County Minority Business Alliance’s own Dawn Tucker (Immediate Past President) and Roseanna Vogt (Vice President). Dawn and Roseanna did not leave any leaf unturned alerting African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, women, and the disabled business owners and consumers in their commercial community to be counted in Census 2020. They heeded the U.S. Census Bureau experts’ message, assessed the needs, and planned their targeted strategy to spread the word throughout their network and beyond. Their agile efforts are helping Calvert County reach its response rate goal of 90% for Census 2020. Dawn and Roseanna have featured the 2020 Census on the Minority Business Alliance's website, including posting the county’s two Census videos (English and Spanish language). And... Dawn’s two daughters were featured in the English language video.
Robin Brown is a Partnership Specialist with the U.S Census Bureau's Philadelphia Regional Office. Robin supported a Census outreach event that was held on Sunday, July 26, at the Word of Life Center church in Salisbury. She was a valuable partner in this event, working in conjunction with Pastor Roosevelt Toussaint, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), and the Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee (CCC). Pastor Toussaint’s church, which serves the Haitian community, had two services and Robin was instrumental in providing guidance and language support and resources to individuals for completing their Census. Planning and the local CCC appreciate Robin for her positive and professional attitude and look forward to her continued support in future outreach opportunities.
Pastor Roosevelt Toussaint has served as Senior Pastor for Word of Life Center in Salisbury for 25 years, serving a congregation of more than 400 members. While leading many initiatives within his church community that support the Haitian and Latinx residents, he always finds time to willingly serve throughout Wicomico County and the surrounding communities. Pastor Toussaint has played an integral role to ensure that the growing Haitian community participates in the Census 2020 and advocates for an accurate Census count for this group. He has helped provide a meeting place for Census discussions and activities, while providing a nurturing bridge of support from communication to eliminating any cultural barriers that may impact the Census count. Pastor Toussaint is known for his enthusiasm to serve the people of the community while providing information and resources to make sure all feel welcome and supported.
August 7, 2020
Gloria Aparicio Blackwell is a Census Champion who brings passion, energy, enthusiasm, and extraordinary effort to her advocacy for everyone’s participation in the 2020 Census. When Prince George’s County was establishing a Complete Count Committee (CCC), Gloria was among the first to be recommended. She has taken a leadership role and has not wavered in her dedication, commitment, participation, and contributions as a stellar advocate for a fair and accurate Census, especially for the traditionally undercounted populations. Gloria is the Director of the University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement and has led efforts at UMD to ensure students and the surrounding community are counted. In addition to her leadership on the Prince George’s County CCC, as subcommittee chair for colleges and universities, she is involved in other census committees at the local and state level, including: Organizer and Chair of the Maryland Statewide Latino Census Coalition; City of College Park CCC; and the Maryland Higher Education CCC. She goes above and beyond to connect goals to the community. Prince George’s is proud to have Gloria Aparicio Blackwell’s contagious energy, above and beyond spirit, and motivating leadership as part of the Census 2020 team.
Cynthia Brown is a 20+ year employee of St. Mary’s County Government. In Cynthia’s everyday position she works closely with the Homeless Prevention Board, the Department of Social Services, Homeless Shelters, Faith Leaders, and Housing Authority among others. She is outstanding in what she does every day and has brought that same energy to the Census. While she is a “behind the scenes” person, nothing happens if Cynthia hasn’t put her finger on the pulse of it – she quietly “makes it happen.” Cynthia leveraged points of contact that she has worked with through her years in St. Mary's County. When the Pandemic hit Maryland, she became fully immersed in taking care of these communities. She remained committed to the Census, staying on top of her outreach channels to provide Census information.
Kevin Lindsay is the Neighborhood Relations Manager for the City of Salisbury. As an active member of the Wicomico County - City of Salisbury Complete Count Committee, he and his team have been very involved at the local level, going door to door (on 90-plus degree days) promoting the Census and delivering Census door hangers in some of the city's traditional hardest to count areas.
With the summer season in high gear, Ocean City beaches filled with Marylanders offered the opportunity to connect and engage with beachgoers in creative ways. The ability to convey the importance of the Census to those enjoying the beach via the floating billboard was a clear way to capture the attention of thousands. Jake Robinson, who runs SeaBoard Media, was wonderful to work with as Planning developed Census messaging for the 14’ by 47’ screen that sits on a 72-foot catamaran. The Ocean City Seaboard has been an advertising staple for years and Jake expedited the process to get our signage up and running within hours. Beachgoers from the Ocean City inlet to the Delaware line can view the advertising as far as the eye can see. We can’t thank Jake enough for his support to help ensure that everyone enjoying the sun and sand is made aware of Census 2020.
Dorothy Stoltz, the Director of Community Engagement for the Carroll County Library, is an active member of the Carroll County Complete Count Committee and chairs the Education, Youth and Libraries Census Workgroup. Dorothy serves as liaison with all library locations and their staff. She organized a program for dedicated Census computers to be available in all library branches with training for staff to provide public assistance. Dorothy designed Census ads that were published in the monthly library magazine, created a social media campaign for the Census on the library’s social media sites, and worked with the library outreach group to deliver Census workbooks to preschools and daycare centers. She made sure that Census outreach materials and signs were placed in all of Carroll County's library branches. Dorothy is creative, hardworking, and always offering her services to help with Census outreach.
Terri Lynn Williams took on the responsibility of letting everyone know about why the Census is important to the community. As a member of the Prince George’s County Complete Count Committee, Terri voluntarily participated in training classes held by the committee as well as courses sponsored by regional and national organizations to become a better Census advocate to her neighbors, family, friends, colleagues, and community. She is an active member of several community organizations, including the NAACP and Ivy Community Charities. She initiated phone bank efforts to reach every member and encouraged them to complete the Census as well as to reach out to ten more households. This “Power of 10” strategy resulted in more than 1,500 calls and text messages. Terri also helped facilitate the establishment of a Census hub in one of the hard to count communities. Within her own neighborhood, she went door to door to distribute Census information and encouraged Census participation in her own faith community. Terri has gone above and beyond as a volunteer, dedicating many hours of her time and offering her talents to ensure Prince George’s County residents are both educated about the Census and accurately counted.
August 14, 2020
Julie Bellamy, Town Manager for the Town of Hebron, has been a dynamic member of the Wicomico County-City of Salisbury Complete Count Committee. She has been the leader for promoting the Census in the Town of Hebron about the importance of Census, sharing messages in town mailings and at community events. Julie is always presenting great new ideas for promotion and outreach to the committee. Through her efforts, Hebron has the highest self-response rate of all Wicomico County cities.
Senator Adelaide (Addie) Eckardt has been a leader promoting the 2020 Census in her community, getting personally involved, and sharing information to her constituents in Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico counties. She has participated in all Salisbury-Wicomico Complete Count Committee meetings to stay informed about the outreach efforts on the lower shore. Senator Eckardt is a leader in working with the local committees and federal partners to help secure training locations for door to door operations on the Eastern Shore. She most recently attended the latest One Stop Shop event in Salisbury to show her support and offer assistance in the final months of the Census outreach campaign. Thank you Senator Addie Eckardt for everything you’re doing to ensure Maryland gets the count on the shore it deserves!
Shawn Ellis is the 2020 Census Manager for Montgomery County. His tireless work over the past 18 months will have a lasting impact on the county for decades. Shawn partners with stakeholders across government, nonprofit, philanthropy, businesses, faith communities, and jurisdictions to manage county-wide Census outreach strategies that will help ensure that Montgomery County is accurately counted. His work with these partners are focused on traditionally undercounted communities to make sure that they will receive funds for necessary services. The Montgomery County Census Team’s outreach plan was significantly disrupted by COVID-19. During the time without in-person outreach, Shawn worked with partners to disseminate the Census message through all available online and virtual channels. His messaging highlighted that privacy was protected and that the Census could be completed online or via phone. Shawn is central to the county’s Census campaign and outreach efforts led by the Office of Community Partnerships.
Willam Hardin, Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Delmar, is an active member of the Wicomico County-City of Salisbury Complete Count Committee. He has been the leader for promoting the Census in the Town of Delmar, promoting the importance in the town newsletter and at community events, and providing fresh ideas for the committee to implement. William was instrumental in connecting the CCC with Hispanic/Latinx TheVoice Radio Network.
Frank Vari, Town Commissioner of Chesapeake City, has been a dedicated member of the Cecil County Complete Count Committee and has brought Census promotional materials to the town. He involved local community organizations including the Chesapeake City Ecumenical Council to spread the word about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. Frank has posted Census yard signs throughout Chesapeake City.
August 21, 2020
Delegate Heather Bagnall (District 33) has gone above and beyond the call of duty to educate, bring awareness to, and motivate her constituents to participate in the 2020 Census. She has utilized her platform to greater effect than any other member of the Maryland General Assembly by recording multiple videos that included residents within her district, elected officials from every level of government, and notable Marylanders. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delegate Bagnall organized mailers, door knocking campaigns, and town hall events to promote, inspire, and motivate Anne Arundel County Residents to be counted. In addition to preparing herresidents with resources on how to deal with a once-in-a-century pandemic, the importance of Census 2020 never took a backseat. The actions that she has taken has yielded quantifiable results. Her district continues to show leading participation figures by census tracts, leading surrounding areas and other tracts around the county and state.
Ana Dudamel developed a thoughtful long-term plan to engage hard to count residents in several of the lowest response rate Census tracts in Montgomery County. As far back as April 2019, Ana has been raising awareness within the community and never let up this incredible pace through the COVID pandemic. She attended nearly every event in the county to promote Census and has maintained a presence throughout the pandemic. Ana developed a presentation to engage elected officials and participated in educational town hall meetings. Ana designed and executed a phone bank operation to engage community partners and she engaged local jurisdictions in order to amplify an outreach campaign for diverse audiences. She connected with the county’s Food Collaboration Council, advocating about the importance of the Census. Ana personally attends most of the food distributions - QR Code and giveaways in hand - answering questions and encouraging participation as people wait in line. "Ana has dedicated the last 18 months of her life to Census outreach in the community, and I guarantee our numbers would be much lower without her hard work," said Lauren Sukal, Grants Administrator for the City of Gaithersburg.
Barbara A. Bates-Hopkins is Senior Community Engagement Coordinator and Manager of the Day at the Market Community Engagement Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore City. Barbara has been a strong supporter of the 2020 Census outreach effort led by the Women’s Home Preservation Fund (WHPF) at Baltimore’s public markets, namely Lexington Market and Northeast Market. As the city slowly reopened, she made it possible for the WHPF’s in-person Census outreach to return to Northeast Market. The in-person outreach is an essential touch point for many folks in Baltimore who lack access to the internet or stable housing to register for the Census. Barbara's advocacy has been and continues to be vital for increasing the Census count in Baltimore City.
Lucia Islas, President of Comité Latino de Baltimore, is a tireless advocate for the Latino community and has gone above and beyond in making sure Latinos in Baltimore know about and respond to the Census. She has created videos, social media posts, and virtual events that encourage residents to complete the Census and to make sure that all children are counted in their households. Lucia has done this all while managing Comité Latino’s outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Yaretzi Islas proves that it’s never too early to start advocating for your community! She has starred in several videos encouraging members of the Latino community in Baltimore City to complete their Census in both English and Spanish! She reminds us that all children matter and all children count.
Laura Russell is an enthusiastic individual with ties to various communities in Carroll County including faith-based organizations, volunteer groups, and the LGBTQ community, among others. Her connections have been an asset in getting the word out about Census 2020 in Carroll County. Laura was instrumental in shifting resources from the original Complete Count Committee game plan to virtual platforms, assisting all work groups in reworking their strategies. Laura also spearheaded virtual advertising with the Carroll County Times, ramping up the county’s billboard presence, and working on getting roadside banners in strategic locations throughout the county. Laura’s outside of the box thinking lead to Census messages at the farmers markets, the maternity ward at Carroll Hospital, and purchasing sunscreen-sanitizer for distribution at COVID appropriate events. Most recently she has been active in getting the count out in the county's hard-to-count areas and has been working tirelessly on an ice-cream social Census event. Participants will receive a ticket for free ice-cream from an ice-cream truck if they take the Census on a county issued iPad and/or receive Census materials. The hope is that this event will drive numbers up in those areas and bring people out for a fun, socially distanced evening.
August 28, 2020
Rev. Joshua Agbodeka is pastor of Heavenly Kingdom Bible Church, one of the largest immigrant and multicultural faith communities in Baltimore County. Rev Agbodeka has thrown his support behind the Census count of hard-to-reach immigrant communities since 2019. He has given access to the premises of the church to the Women’s Home Preservation Fund (WHPF) to conduct 2020 Census outreach for as long as it is needed to count every member of his church and beyond. As a moral leader, his full endorsement of the Census has created a safe space where immigrant communities feel confident to register during the weekly Census drives held by the WHPF at Heavenly Kingdom Bible Church.
Mike Amanahu is an African immigrant success story. Mike is the owner of Heritage International Food, a popular African and Caribbean grocery outlet in Randallstown, Baltimore County. Mike did not hesitate to support the Census count of immigrant communities in the county by allowing the Women’s Home Preservation Fund (WHPF) to hold weekly census outreach at his store. Through these efforts, the WHPF is successfully helping to register hard-to-reach immigrant communities in the Census. Mike preached Census participation, leading by example, when he completed his form in his store. His credibility in the community helps to remove barriers to participation in the Census by immigrants.
Laura Berrios, Carlos Berrios, and Josh McCormick have exceeded expectations in their volunteer service to Anne Arundel County, as well as the United States Census Bureau. Ms. Berrios was a member of the Anne Arundel County Complete Count Committee (CCC) representing Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). Her service on the CCC has been invaluable to get a large population of the county on board with the Census and motivated to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the COVID-19 pandemic struck Maryland, AACC released Ms. Berrios from employment. However this did not deter her from continued service. The Anne Arundel County CCC was in need of volunteers, so much so that they placed notices through the County’s Office of Emergency Management. Ms. Berrios took it upon herself to recruit her son, Carlos Berrios, and friend Josh McCormick to fill the roles that were needed. This team of three enhanced the public-facing approach and, alone, participated at 40 Anne Arundel County Public School Meal Distribution Sites, 20 Mobile Meal Distribution Sites, multiple food truck rallies and crab feasts, and events at volunteer fire houses. Anne Arundel County’s numbers would not be where they are had it not been for these three individuals answering the call to action. In the face of adversity, three ordinary residents have faithfully served the complete count cause. Their efforts reflect the best of Anne Arundel County and the mission of community service all residents should strive for.
Sandie Greene has excellent person skills and is a tireless and creative user of email and the phone. Sandie created a network of contacts of on-the-ground resources for trusted voices to promote the importance of the Census. She personified “The Little Engine That Could” for the St. Mary’s County Census outreach effort. Sandie exhibits that "I-know-I-can" spirit for the Census every day. She has contacted and enlisted the cooperation of civic clubs, Meals on Wheels, veteran groups, fire and rescue departments, food pantries, senior and group homes, soup kitchens, public and private schools, the Town of Leonardtown, NAS Patuxent River, local businesses, churches, and post offices. She arranged the cooperation of the county Department of Emergency Services in placing movable digital signs at key intersections to remind motorists to fill out the Census. Sandie is the liaison with the county’s subcommittees: Education, Human Services, Business, Community Services, and Media. She has downloaded and printed Census flyers to take to subcommittees for distribution. Lee Osberry, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, and Sandie have coordinated supplying Census promotional products to many of the groups contacted above for distribution to residents. Sandie Greene participates on weekly calls, taking notes, following up on the good ideas she has heard, and reporting what she has been doing.
Young Smith is a community advocate who leverages her work with families and neighborhoods to promote Census completion in some of our historically low-counted areas. She is President of the Howard County League of Korean Americans (LOKA-HC), and has successfully executed several on-site Census promotional events at key locations in underrepresented census tracts. With the help of LOKA-HC members, Young has successfully promoted these events to hundreds of Korean residents and helped more than three dozen individuals and families complete their Census forms in person.
September 4, 2020
When the state grant for Census support came out, Alisa Casas quickly put together a multi-media advertising campaign. She used her experience in communications to divide the funding into media categories that were affordable and provided maximum coverage. The result is that the St. Mary’s Census message has been visible - and audible - throughout the county. Since the grants came out before COVID-19 it was fortuitous that the county budgeted for and implemented with a multi-media campaign rather than in-person gatherings, so media outreach continued without interruption. Alisa arranged for the placement of signs on all St. Mary’s Transit System buses which have constantly operated throughout the county. She also has a Census reminder banner on the county website home page and Census information is broadcast on the county’s Channel 95 cable access channel.
Councilwoman Danielle McCray, 2nd Council District in Baltimore City, has been working with small businesses in the Belair Road corridor to increase awareness about the importance of the Census and to help encourage others to complete their form.
Ana Mejia has gone above and beyond to assist in the development and execution of a plan to communicate the importance of the Census in the Frederick County. Not only does Ana serve on the county’s complete count committee (CCC), but early on, she began to educate and motivate families with English as a second language to participate in the 2020 Census at her monthly “Table Talks.” In March 2020, she invited members of the CCC and representatives from the Census Bureau to address Spanish-speaking families and arranged for interpreters. She organizes frequent food distributions and ensures that all families receive Census information with the food items. During COVID-19, she continued to organize these food distributions, including census information for surrounding neighborhoods. Ana’s advocacy and efforts greatly contributed to Frederick County’s success in exceeding its 2010 self-response rate and ranking third among all Maryland counties.
Kevin Michael, Anthony Navarro, and Cathy Page exemplify why Calvert County Public Schools are ranked among the best in the state and country in response to the 2020 Census in Maryland. They committed to a goal to increase the traditionally low Census response rate of children under five and non-English speakers to 90 percent. Their outreach to every parent to make sure their children are counted included informing them how federal funds for Calvert County’s educational programs are tied to the Census count. Their tireless Census representation in every school, particularly in the low response areas, took many approaches. Even when COVID-19 halted their in-person contacts, they worked with the Child Nutrition Office to provide the Maryland Department of Planning’s school lunch Census flyer in more than 1,000 student meal kits in May. Without delay, they persuaded Calvert County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel D. Curry and every county school principal to send continuous Census alerts to parents through social media and newsletters. For these diligent efforts, the county is proud to call them Census Champions.
Prior to COVID-19 impacting the travels of Marylanders, an effort was underway to include bus signage on public transportation vehicles. Mark Sheely, Manager of the Mid-Atlantic Region for Vector Media, worked closely with members of the Maryland Department of Planning to identify routes that have the greatest impact on hard-to-reach communities for Census response. Mark assisted the Planning team in ensuring the outreach effort was successful, even during the stay-at-home period when it was harder to have visibility in these areas. Once the state began to reopen, Mark created a plan for continued coverage on those routes, ensuring that Census messaging would reach those in the hardest to count areas. His assistance allowed for countless Marylanders to learn of the importance of the Census.
September 11, 2020
In addition to being Co-chair for the 2020 Maryland Complete Count Committee, a single mother, and business owner, Lilly Castillo has spent countless hours reaching out to the minority community to educate and inform on the need to complete the 2020 Census. Lilly has done this on radio and television, via social media, and even through virtual meetings due to the pandemic. She has gone above and beyond what could be asked of her, all while juggling her personal and professional life.
It cannot be emphasized enough how significant a contribution has been made by AFT Maryland in its commitment to the 2020 Census outreach effort. AFT Maryland, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has been encouraging communities in Baltimore City and surrounding counties to be counted. The organization has used its capacity to provide 2020 Census resource material and personal protective equipment to education professionals during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Census field operations being suspended from mid-March to early June put a great imposition on the self-response rate momentum in Baltimore City. During that time, Baltimore City Census 2020 held virtual team meetings that were essential to ensure that strategies and outreach to local partners continued. AFT Maryland is one of the few partners that consistently attended these meetings and maintained their efforts through the height of the pandemic. Three faithful members of AFT Maryland – Janell Edmonds, Marietta English, and Jeff Johnson – have played key roles in helping the U.S. Census Partnership team connect with pertinent faith-based institutions in Baltimore, such as New Psalmist Baptist Church which has more than 10,000 members! AFT-Maryland has continued to remain actively engaged in outreach efforts to encourage voter registration and 2020 Census participation among some of Maryland’s most vulnerable populations!
Scott Hancock has served as the Maryland Municipal League's (MML) chief executive since December of 1995. Throughout the 2020 Census Campaign, Scott has been a partner to the Maryland Department of Planning and continued to assist in urging municipal leaders to get the message out about the Census. Recently, he has ensured that MML has consistently placed up-to-date information about where Maryland's cities and towns stand with Census self-response and stressed the importance of an accurate count for these communities. He has been vocal on social media about the Census and directed MML staff to share content on their respective platforms. There is no doubt that the success the municipalities have had in Census self-response is in part to Scott's efforts – with 83 municipalities surpassing their 2010 self-response rate.
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins has put in extraordinary work on the outreach efforts for Census 2020 in her district, District 20 in Montgomery County. Delegate Wilkins has championed this process from onset through tremendous advocacy and community partnership building. She is efficient, tactful, and somehow manages to leave everyone smiling at every turn. The delegate's energy and commitment is contagious. She has not only provided resources and information her community to ensure that every resident is counted, but has kept her colleagues well informed and on their toes. Delegate Wilkins also served as an active member of the Maryland Complete Count Committee, where she has advocated for the communities throughout the state and provided critical input and guidance in ensuring that every Marylander counts.
September 18, 2020
PAnne Arundel County leaders did not know how lucky they would be when Harry Freeman agreed to chair the county’s complete count committee (CCC). Harry was the perfect person to lead the Anne Arundel Census effort. He is an organizer, recruiter, motivator, reporter, writer, spokesperson, interpreter, advocate, and a volunteer. He brought together and challenged an amazing group of individuals on the CCC. When the committee experienced staff turnover, he picked up the slack and when the pandemic hit, and many CCC members had to divert their attention elsewhere, Harry pushed through with a renewed sense of urgency knowing the COVID response was a real-time example of why an accurate count matters for communities. He took vacation time from his full-time job to distribute flyers at meal sites in hard-to-reach areas, attend meetings and events, and deliver materials. As a single-parent, he’d occasionally have to update the County Executive’s staff while keeping his son connected to school. Harry is a cheerleader, manager, and doer. His substantial volunteer hours and commitment to the Census and Anne Arundel County communities is immeasurable.
Dr. Sudha Haley exhibits all of the characteristics of a true leader —organization, encouragement, optimism, integrity, confidence, and honesty. Dr. Haley showed all of these when the Calvert County Complete Count Committee faced the challenges that COVID-19 posed in attaining its goal of 90% participation in the 2020 Census. She attended numerous meetings outside of the actual committee setting and assisted in organizing the hugely successful AARP Maryland Statewide 2020 Census Forum. Her commitment to empowering a diverse community and to achieving social justice is unparalleled. Dr. Haley’s experience in numerous employment roles and personal situations was a blessing to the members of the committee.
Not only has Walkiria Pool served as a Co-chair of Maryland's Complete Count Committee, she has been a steadfast ambassador for the Census. Walkiria has worked tirelessly in communities, especially those in historically hard-to-count areas and in the Hispanic community, to increase self-response rates. Her efforts expand to thousands who listen to her Facebook Live shows during which she promotes Census efforts and encourages listeners to complete their forms. Her enthusiasm and passion to help others understand the importance of the Census is obvious to all who hear her speak on the topic.
Kyrthlyn Rhoda reached out to the Maryland Department of Planning for assistance in her endeavor to increase the self-response rate for the city of Seat Pleasant, Maryland where she is heading up Census efforts and serves as the grants manager. Kyrthlyn is determined to do whatever she can to promote the Census to this Prince George’s County community and get as many city residents as she can to complete their forms. She has worked diligently to get the Planning’s “Did You Know” Census cards printed and distributed to schools and other organizations in the area with the hopes of boosting the city’s numbers before the deadline. She continues to think of creative ways to improve Seat Pleasant’s response rate and is tireless in her outreach and efforts on behalf of the Census.
Chief Jesse Swann has been informing, educating, and encouraging members of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe to complete the Census and to specifically indicate their tribal affiliation. The Piscataway Conoy Tribe sought state recognition for many years and the 2020 Census should now accurately reflect its members. This was an important mission since in past decennial Censuses, tribal members had to identify as other races. Chief Jesse Swann has organized and offered any assistance needed to complete the Census as early as possible. He also had members respond back to him when they completed their forms to help him track tribal members’ response rates. He recognizes the significance and high priority of this year’s Census and the future resources that will be distributed using this data. Chief Swann acted immediately and has done diligent follow up to ensure everyone was counted throughout this great state.
Senator Mary Washington, who represents District 43 in Baltimore City, has led the Maryland Senate in ensuring that the 2020 Census is a top priority. Her efforts have helped to ensure that the Get Out the Count efforts have reached all across the state. Senator Washington spearheaded a virtual effort to engage all members of the Maryland Senate and shared resources and information about the Census to support them in getting out the count. She has also led events and coordinated efforts in her home district, to reach historically undercounted communities. Senator Washington has been an active member of the Maryland Complete Count Committee and has lent her expertise and background to provide critical input in Maryland and to ensure a complete and full count.
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