The Census Bureau has moved up the end date for counting efforts for the 2020 census to September 30, a month shorter than previously announced. This includes critical door-knocking efforts, as well as collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail.
The accelerated end date means the bureau has less than two months left to try to reach people who are not likely to fill out the census on their own, including people of color, immigrants and renters.
Continue reading below to learn why an accurate census is critical to our communities, and if you know someone who has not yet filled out the census, please encourage them to RESPOND as soon as possible.
WHY DOES THE CENSUS MATTER TO ME?
Knowing how many people live in the city of Milwaukee—or anywhere else in the country—affects your life on many levels. First, political districts are drawn based on population data. Ensuring everyone in Milwaukee is counted helps ensure each and every one of our voices is heard at the federal, state, and local levels. Second, the results of the census are used for federal funding. Simply put: more money goes to places where more people live. An accurate count helps ensure Milwaukee will receive our fair share of funding for transportation, schools, social services, and more.
Milwaukee has a lot at stake in the 2020 census, so we are working hard to prevent an undercount. You can help, too. Ask your Club leaders for informational materials to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. Spread the word on social media by sharing our informational posts. Encourage as many people as you can to complete the census. If this information helped you, point your friends and family here, too.
- What QUESTIONS are asked on the census?
- Answers to POPULAR QUESTIONS about the census.
- How do I RESPOND to the census?
We invite you to read the following statement from our President & CEO, Kathy Thornton-Bias. Additionally, we encourage you to view this statement from the Executive Committee of Wisconsin Boys & Girls Clubs, found at the bottom of this page.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO VOTE
In an effort to break down as many barriers to voting as possible, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee has secured approval for three of our legacy Clubs to serve as polling places for the August 11th and November 3rd elections.
- Don & Sallie Davis Club (1975 South 24th Street)
- LaVarnway Club (2739 North 15th Street)
- Mary Ryan Club (3000 North Sherman Boulevard)
To find your polling place, find out what’s on your ballot, or register to vote, visit myvote.wi.gov.
Not sure if you will be able to vote at your polling place on Election Day? Here are other ways to cast your ballot:
RECEIVE YOUR BALLOT BY MAIL
Wisconsin voters can receive their absentee ballot by mail. If you would like to vote in the August 11th partisan primary, be sure to submit your request by August 6th. If you would like an absentee ballot mailed to you for the November 3rd election, you must the request one no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the election.
Starting the third Monday before Election Day, you can vote by absentee ballot in person at your Municipal Clerk’s office. Each city, village and town in Wisconsin is responsible for setting the dates and hours of in-person absentee voting for their municipality. To find the dates and hours for in-person absentee voting where you live, contact your municipal clerk.
DO I HAVE THE RIGHT PHOTO ID?
The following forms of ID are acceptable on election day as long as the expiration date is after November 6, 2018:
- A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended, with or without a star in the right-hand corner.
- A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card, with or without a star in the right-hand corner.
- A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card or driver license without a photo issued under the religious exemption
- Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
- A U.S. passport
- An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin (May be used even if expired before the most recent general election.)
- A photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college that contains date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. (May be used even if expired before the most recent general election.)
- If the university or college ID is expired, the student ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves current enrollment.
Learn more at bringit.wi.gov.
A Letter From Our President & CEO, Kathy Thornton-Bias
Like many of you, all of us at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee have been struggling with how to process our feelings and wondering if our country will ever heal its wounds.
Our community and our nation are indeed at an uncomfortable and undeniable point of reckoning.
In these great United States, there is an embedded and prevailing violence against people of color, and in particular against African American men and boys that spans more than two centuries. This precedent is deeply rooted in our history.
It is especially gut wrenching to think that the young men and women that we support and serve at the Clubs, could be treated with the same sort of malice, violence and disregard.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to empower and inspire all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. We believe, AN INJUSTICE AGAINST ONE IS AN INJUSTICE AGAINST ALL.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee serves an average of 5,000 kids a day, the vast majority of whom are African American and Latino. We believe, BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee was founded by a woman at a time when women could not vote, admitted girls into the Clubs when it wasn’t the national norm, and kept our doors open during the Sherman Park unrest. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
In this spirit, our organization is turning its attention towards actions instead of “just” words. We are in the early stages of developing a Social Action Plan that will spell out specific ideas and tactics our agency will deploy in response to the inequity and systemic racism that plague the Milwaukee community. Our plan will be solution oriented, inclusive of the community voice, and aligned with the mission our Clubs have been committed to for 133 years.
We hope you will join us in this important fight! Follow us on Facebook to learn more.
President & CEO,
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
A Letter From Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin
A message from the Executive Committee of Wisconsin Boys & Girls Clubs:
PASSED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE JUNE 18, 2020
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin:
Taking Action in Response to Racial Inequality
Boys & Girls Clubs have stood for inclusion for over 160 years, and our commitment to creating a safe space is unwavering. Our mission is to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. We cannot inspire kids when they live in fear of losing parents, or their own life and liberty. We cannot enable them to reach their full potential while they witness communities being torn apart in a fight over whether their own lives matter. We need our youth to know: You matter, your dreams matter, and your life matters.
Statements of advocacy are hollow when void of action. It’s time to make change, rather than discuss it. We need real results beyond hashtags and town halls. Seven out of ten club children across our state are kids and teens of color. As we step forward together to resolutely affirm Black lives matter, we best honor good intentions with real outcomes. It is time to do the work of dismantling systemic racism.
We support peaceful protest for change. When a segment of the population is denied justice under the law, it is the obligation of all citizens to make their voices heard. Continued civic engagement is at the core of serving as a responsible citizen, and our sustained action can take many forms.
Within clubs, we will continue to create permanent infrastructure to enforce and maintain policies of inclusion and diversity. We will hold relevant trainings for staff, evaluate our internal hiring practices, and review compensation and promotion policies. Board recruitment and development will reflect diversity and inclusion, and we will implement meaningful best practices to avoid all discrimination.
Within local communities, we will urge mayors, county officials and law enforcement to review use of force policies and report out on reforms. Local officials matter most in changing criminal justice practices, and voter turnout in these elections is low. We will encourage citizens to complete the census, register to vote and show up at the polls.
Within institutions — including our own boards, state alliance, area council and national organization – we will push for programs, policies and partnerships to better support equity work. We will ask for relevant racial trainings in regional and national conferences. We will value our staff of color to ensure they feel included. And we will encourage all to reward diversity at the club level, push for policies of inclusion, and amend strategic plans to reflect this new reality.
As individuals, some will march in protest or sign petitions. Others will donate to victim funds or support black-owned business. And all of us will vote. But we will also need to step out of our comfort zone, including uncomfortable conversations with coworkers, friends and family on recognizing white privilege. One of the intentional outcomes will be learning and unlearning biases that can cause harm in our clubs and communities.
As leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure this work is sustained. Everyone has the opportunity to choose how they participate, but no one has the choice of whether or not they are a participant. We must plan, strategize, organize, advocate and unify around policy change to address racial disparities in education, health care, employment, incarceration and our criminal justice systems.
Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation – including youth in our clubs right now — to continue to shape the strategies that move us forward. We best serve our youth tomorrow with meaningful actions today.
The Executive Committee of Wisconsin Boys & Girls Clubs