Penn State Lehigh Valley hosts 2020 census rally to encourage civic engagement

man stepping away from podium

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong spoke to the Lehigh Valley campus community at a census rally held March 2.

Credit: Carissa Ackley

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Penn State Lehigh Valley hosted a 2020 Census Rally on March 2 at the Lehigh Valley campus for students, faculty and staff.

Following welcoming remarks from Douglas Hochstetler, director of academic affairs, attendees watched a brief “Shape Your Future” video clip to gain an introductory overview of the importance of the 2020 census.

After the video, Kristy Hove, Penn State Lehigh Valley’s institutional planner, introduced special guests Phillips Armstrong, Lehigh County executive, and Nathiefa Hamilton, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau for Northampton County.

“When I get asked why the census is important, I tell them the truth — that we receive $2,093 per participating person per year for the next ten years. That amount of money is what comes back into this area to support our population,” Armstrong said. “To increase the funding for public initiatives, every response matters and I think the best people to spread the word about the census are the very people sitting in this room … the students.”

woman at podium talking to group in rows

Nathiefa Hamilton, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau for Northampton County, answered questions about the census at the Lehigh Valley campus on March 2.

Credit: Kristy Hove

Following Armstrong’s remarks, Nathiefa Hamilton took to the podium to address the student and faculty body in attendance. As partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau for Northampton County, she provided attendees with insights on the type of information collected by the census, methods of response, and how participation directly affects the amount of funding for important community services such as infrastructure repair, hospitals, schools, universities, libraries and more.

“The 2020 census is an exciting initiative because for the first time, you will be able to respond online from any device, by phone or by mail,” Hamilton said. “When everyone is counted in the 2020 Census, our communities will benefit.”

After the conclusion of the speaker sessions, Hibah Akbar, president of the PSU-LV Student Government Association, thanked the speakers for their efforts to raise awareness of the initiative and shared final remarks on the importance of student civic engagement.

An energetic trivia game where attendees were asked to answer factual questions about the Census to earn prizes closed out the event.

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit the PA Census website.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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