Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide count of every person living in the country as of April 1 of that year: from babies to grandparents, born in the U.S. or anywhere in the world, urban and rural… everyone.

Getting it right is essential, because this decennial count will determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed, how seats in Congress are allocated, and much more.

MIRA has always worked to encourage Census participation among immigrants and refugees, but in 2020 we played a much bigger role: our executive director, Eva A. Millona, chaired the Statewide Complete Count Committee, and we hired a special Complete Count Coordinator who conducted trainings and helped mobilize advocates to raise awareness of the Census, assuage concerns in our communities, and ensure a complete count. MIRA was also an active member of MassCounts, a statewide alliance of nonprofits working on the 2020 Census.

Here’s how we did:

  • Massachusetts’ 2020 self-response rate SURPASSED the 2010 self-response rate.
  • MIRA made 276,645 phone calls with our MassCounts nonprofit partners over seven months.
  • MIRA led educational and outreach training in all six regions across the state.
  • MIRA hosted phone banking and text banking sessions, designed and launched digital ads in historically undercounted cities, and held 22 Census Chats highlighting the work of community organizations across the state.

MIRA is extremely proud of the hard work of advocates and organizers across the Commonwealth who stepped up and persevered through significant odds to ensure a fair and accurate census count in Massachusetts. But our work is not done – we are still facing attempts to exclude undocumented immigrants from apportionment and undermine the accuracy of the count. MIRA will continue our advocacy to ensure that the quality of the count meets the highest standards.