Colorado Census Faith Hub

Find Out the Ways Your Congregation Can Get Involved!

For resources, please visit www.faithcountco.org

Meet Our Statewide Faith Hub Coordinator

Megan Van Ens

Megan Van Ens will be our 2020 Census Faith Hub Coordinator until June 2020. Megan started Clever Caterpillar LLC and provides strategic and program planning to various nonprofits and ballot measures.
 
She previously served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable for the last 10 years.  The Roundtable’s mission is to pursue public policy change and encourage civic engagement for a more inclusive, equitable and just Colorado by working collectively and collaboratively with a network of 45 organizations.
 
Prior to the Roundtable, she was the Progressive Majority Colorado State Director.  She was also the Colorado State Finance Director   Progressive Majority’s mission is to recruit, train and elect progressive candidates to state and local office.
 
Megan came to Progressive Majority with over 7 years of political experience—working on all types of campaigns—local, state candidate races and statewide issue/ballot measure campaigns. She started her political career in Colorado while working for ten targeted state senate races for 2000.  She was part of the team that flipped control of the State Senate for the first time in 40 years.
 
Megan grew up in Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with two degrees—one in journalism and one in political science.  In her spare time, you’ll find her exploring new countries and traveling. 

FAQs

Why is a complete count in the U.S. Census so important?

The 2020 Census is of utmost importance to Coloradans, particularly for people of color, low-income families, and young people in congregations, faith communities, and surrounding neighborhoods. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, areas most affected by census undercounting lose about $2,900 per person per year in federal funding. But what’s at stake isn’t only federal funding, or congressional seat apportionment. What’s at stake is the very legitimacy of government to be a force for equity and opportunity, at a moment in history where the very questions of who is human, who belongs, who deserves a share of the Colorado dream are being contested, at a time of increasing division and anxiety driven by the demonization of one another. Being asked to participate in the Census sends a powerful message about who matters.

Why should faith leaders and faith leaders be involved with the 2020 Census?

The Census is an opportunity to build bridges between neighbors who are otherwise out of relationship, and to rebuild the connective tissue in our communities that awakens people to each others’ humanity. This call to radical kinship is a central value of many faith traditions and denominations in Colorado. Fears about confidentiality and safety could drastically reduce participation by immigrants, communities of color, and low-income people, hampering their access to resources and political representation for years to come. Congregations and faith communities have deep trust relationships with and knowledge of people who are traditionally hard to count (low-income people, immigrants, people of color, formerly incarcerated people), which is what makes them a vital source of trusted messengers.

What is a Census Faith Hub?

A “Faith Census Hub” will be an online resource with where faith leaders will get 2020 Census resources to help them be effective and trusted messengers with their congregations across Colorado. These resources include:

  • The Faith Census Toolkits which would include educational materials about the importance of the 2020 Census, tailored to their unique faith traditions and racial identities.
  • Training: equip lay leaders, clergy, staff in congregations and faith institutions to reach out to members and their neighbors.
  • “Census 2020 Sabbaths” and “Souls to the Census” congregational activities.
  • Sermon materials.
  • Neighborhood (door-to-door) canvassing Digital campaigns through smartphones.
  • Social media messaging.
  • Community forums and other community engagement activities.
  • Phone banking Location and staffing for questionnaire assistance centers.
  • Technology and Communications: provide congregations with infrastructure to allow members and neighbors to fill out the 2020 Census on-site, and to track conversations about the Census.

What parts of Colorado will you cover?

Though our efforts will cover the entire state, we will focus on the following places:

  • Metropolitan Denver area (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties)
  • Buena Vista
  • Colorado Springs
  • Grand Junction
  • Larimer County
  • Pueblo
  • Rural counties (Delta, Morgan, and Summit)
  • San Luis Valley
  • Weld County

Where may I get more information?

Please contact Megan Van Ens at cocensusfaithhub@gmail.com to find out ways that your faith community may get involved!