Author: Quadri Ahmed, Mikva Challenge DC youth leader

Spreading awareness about the US Census through DC Action for Children has been an educational and feel-good task. I’ve phone banked a few times before this summer, but it was via DC Action that I felt really confident about doing it.

Phone banking in itself isn’t an easy task. Sure, it might be easy to send messages to people, but that isn’t the point of phone banking. The point of it is to make sure people are aware and encouraged to complete a particular undertaking. In my own case, my duty was to encourage residents across varying wards in DC to complete the U.S. Census.

The U.S. Census is important for various reasons. Not only does it account for residents and the demographics of a particular region, but it’s used to conclude how much funding a particular region should receive. That could affect a neighborhood’s infrastructure, public education, health services, and so more. The Census only takes place every decade, so once the deadline is passed it would be difficult to come by such an opportunity for some time.

While phone banking, I was surprised by how many people responded back. A lot of those people actually already completed the Census before I even texted them. I was happy to see how many texts I got from people who showed their enthusiasm about the Census so it’s quite apparent that a lot of people would like for their community to be improved. Not only that, but the people who asked what organization I was part of were intrigued at finding out that I was a youth who was giving them the information. Young people can really help make a difference.

 I’m glad to have been part of this whole thing. Phone banking can be really interesting. It’s one of those opportunities I think every young person should try at one point or another.