The Austin-Travis County Census 2020 effort was a first-of-its-kind interlocal campaign that leveraged City and County resources in collaboration with a robust and inclusive grassroots team. The effort faced several headwinds, including the COVID-19 pandemic, national debates regarding a citizenship question on the Census questionnaire, and a frequently changing deadline. The community led partnerships established during the lead up to the count proved critical, especially when amplified and supported by local government and media institutions.
In order to reach as many communities as possible, City staff assisted by providing communications and outreach messaging, website development and support, multiple language translations for digital promotions and mailers, mapping and data analysis for grassroots teams, and even support for several socially distanced drive-through events - like the Austin Public Library bookmobile on several occasions.
The effort ended on Oct. 16 with the City of Austin and Travis County being the only pair of large Texas cities and counties to surpass their 2010 Self Response Rates.