Is there anything people on bikes can’t do?
“By participating in this contest you will help us reach hard-to-count communities in the metro Portland area.”
— Esteban Ponce, Hacienda CDC
The latest example of the power of these wonderful machines and the people who ride them comes in the form of a partnership between Pedalpalooza and Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC). Hacienda is a nonprofit that supports Latino families by providing affordable housing, economic development, and educational resources. (You might recall how this group helped Cully residents earn a grant to build secure bike parking back in 2015.) They’re one of many organizations working with the State of Oregon to boost participation in the 2020 Census as part of the We Count Oregon campaign.
Hacienda wants volunteers to hang posters in neighborhoods with historically low Census response rates and they’re working with Pedalpalooza organizers to find an army of bicycle riders to do it. The mission is to increase awareness of a live-streaming event on July 16th that will help people in underrepresented communities learn how to participate in the 2020 Census.
“By participating in this contest you will help us reach hard-to-count communities in the metro Portland area,” says Hacienda Census Outreach Specialist Esteban Ponce in a video about the effort. Ponce has created an online form where volunteers can register and learn basic facts about the mission and contest. (Ponce explains the contest in video below.)
According to Pedalpalooza’s Meghan Sinnott, this unlikely partnership came about when Ponce rode by a Pedalpalooza poster on his way to work. “When we first talked on the phone, I explained how our Pedalpalooza poster distribution project worked and said we could probably mobilize cyclists to do the same for a Census awareness project,” Sinnott explained to me this morning. “Because cyclists are looking for good, healthy excuses to pedal right now and we understand the importance of capturing data that truly represents all of Portland’s people.”
“Cyclists are looking for good, healthy excuses to pedal right now and we understand the importance of capturing data that truly represents all of Portland’s people.”
— Meghan Sinnott, Pedalpalooza
Hacienda is just one organization working on this #PortlandMetroCounts campaign. Others include: Black Parent Initiative, Centro Cultural, Doulas Latinas, Open Signal, and Rosewood Initiative. To boost their outreach efforts these groups have connected with organizations like Pedalpalooza, Street Roots, Self Enhancement Inc., Adelante Mujeres, Travel Portland, and several others.
Being counted by the Census (which only happens every 10 years) is vital because it’s tied to federal funding and resources that are critical in communities with under-counted populations. “At its core the Census is about money, representation, and power, and we want to remind our people that the power belongs to the people,” says Ponce.
The poster-hanging contest begins this Friday, June 26th at 4:00 pm and ends June 28th at 9:00 pm. Once registered, Hacienda will keep a tally of participants and the ten people with the most posters hung will receive a $25 Visa gift card. Locations will be tracked by uploading photos to the Ride With GPS smartphone app.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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