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Hartford Foundation's Civic Engagement Campaign


This year, issues that impact our neighborhoods, our friends, our families, and our children will need your help. Resources to help you participate in the 2020 Census and elections are listed below. We’ll continue to add to this page as new information is available.

Voter Engagement FAQ

Does my vote matter?  When is the next election?  How do I register to vote? 

There are several ways you can register to vote, including online or at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Visit the Connecticut Secretary of the State Voter Information website to register to vote, or to find out if you are already registered. You can also see where and how you can vote, including resources on absentee ballots.

How can I vote? 

Find your polling place.

Learn about absentee voting. Even if you’re traveling or have an emergency, you can vote. Find absentee ballots here, in both English and Spanish.

Your Town Clerk is another resource to register to vote and apply for and submit an absentee ballot.

What identification do I need to vote? 

Secretary of State website: Voter ID information.

Want to see a sample of the ballot you will use to vote with? You can view past ballots here.

How can I learn more about candidates?  General resources about voting 

Census 2020 FAQ

What is the decennial Census? 

Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs—impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. They also are used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Why is it important to me? 

Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding your community receives, how your community plans for the future, and your representation in government. Specifically, data from the 2020 Census are used to:

  • Ensure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments.
  • Plan new homes and businesses and improve neighborhoods.
  • Determine how many seats your state is allocated in the House of Representatives.
When will I complete the Census? 

The next census will take place in 2020. Beginning in mid-March, people will receive a notice in the mail to complete the 2020 Census. Once you receive it, you can respond online. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census.

How can I respond? 

In 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online, but you can still respond by phone or mail if you prefer. Responding should take less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee.

What information will be requested? 

The decennial census will collect basic information about the people living in your household. When completing the census, you should count everyone who is living in your household on April 1, 2020.

What information will NOT be requested? 

The Census Bureau will never ask for: 

  • Social Security numbers.
  • Bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
Will my information be kept confidential? 

Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years or both. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives.

The Census Bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.

Where can I go to learn more? 

You can learn more about the 2020 Census by visiting 2020census.gov.

Additional resources 

Get Out the Vote/ Get Out the Count 2019-2020 Grantees

Following an open call for proposals, the Hartford Foundation has awarded 20 grants totaling $448,400 over eighteen-months to area nonprofits dedicated to increasing voter engagement and census participation of underrepresented residents of Greater Hartford. Nonprofits will engage several underrepresented groups and geographic regions, including Latinos, African Americans, and Caribean Americans, youth of color, low-income individuals and families, women with dependent children, individuals experiencing homelessness, Spanish speakers, and immigrants, as well as residents of Hartford’s most challenged neighborhoods. All of the organizations will participate in an orientation session, receiving training on nonpartisan voter engagement and census outreach.

Advocacy to Legacy, LLC 

Advocacy to Legacy, LLC has received a grant to register voters and conduct census outreach.  They will employ four strategies: 3-5 youth and 3 adult civic engagement trainings; youth team on-the-ground outreach at strategic locations and targeted events; youth forum planned and implemented by youth leaders during winter 2019/2020; and participation at high school graduations to register voters.  Their goal is to get 100+ newly registered voters and 500-1000 individuals informed about the census.

AFCAMP 

AFCAMP's outreach will be integrated alongside service provisions at their offices at the Wheeler Clinic Family Health and Wellness Center; three call-to-action events, with two targeting youth; messaging embedded in print and digital communications. Their goals are 180+ new registered and pledged voters, 180+ completed census forms, and hundreds of more individuals educated.

Catholic Charities, Inc. 

Catholic Charities, Inc's project will utilize parent leaders within the Hartford Family Centers Network (HFCN) to engage and register underrepresented voters and ensure undercounted Census tract residents to complete the questionnaire. HFCN will target young people between 18 - 24 for both GOTV and GOTC. Catholic Charities will leverage community events for outreach and engagement. Computer access will be made available at the Family Centers for GOTC questionnaire completion and will use parent cafes as information sessions. Goals for GOTV include engaging over 500 residents, with 120 new voters registering to vote and 200 voters pledging to vote. Goals for GOTC include engaging 200 residents and assisting 100 residents completing the Census questionnaire.

Community Renewal Team 

Community Renewal Team received a grant for voter outreach focused primarily on current clients at different CRT locations and partners. Other activity includes the creation of a video in English and Spanish to be aired in CRT's waiting room, at agency tables at local events, and on its website. CRT's goal is at least 100 new voters registered to vote, 300 people engaged, and 200 people pledge to vote. 

Connecticut Students for a Dream 

Connecticut Students for a Dream received a grant voter and census outreach to students through afterschool programming and civic engagement at community events, canvassing neighborhoods, visiting churches and community groups utilizing youth volunteers. Their Get Out the Vote goals include 50 registrations plus 75 pledge cards and 50 registrations plus 125 pledge cards respectively. Get out the Census goals include engaging 200 individuals in education efforts and assisting 100 individuals in completing the census.

East Hartford Public Library 

The East Hartford Public Library will be the community hub for Everyone Counts, working with the Housing Authority, the public schools, the YWCA, HartfordCONNects, other community-based agencies. Temporary part-time staff will be hired from March to July 2020 to conduct Census outreach based at the library sites. Dedicated library staff will be trained and will serve as liaisons to the partner agencies. The East Hartford Public Library will extend weekend hours of operation during peak Census season by opening on Sunday. Promotional materials both in English and Spanish will be developed and distributed at the library and through partners and the Complete Count Committee. Social media will micro-target critical undercounted Census tracts. Their goal is at minimum 100 residents completing Census forms and 200 residents engaged.

Full Citizens Coalition 

Full Citizens Coalitionwith Christian Activities Council as a fiscal agent, will support the Full Citizens Coalition campaign to Unlock the Vote, which seeks to engage previously incarcerated people, people under the supervision of the Connecticut Department of Correction and their families.  The Full Citizens Coalition will focus its 2018 voter engagement project in the five neighborhoods of Hartford with the lowest voter turnout:  Clay Arsenal, Frog Hollow, Behind the Rocks, Upper Albany, and Northeast.  The Coalition will knock on approximately 2,600 doors, interview 600 residents, collect 400 pledges to vote and register 200 voters.

Hartford Health Initiative 

Hartford Health Initiative's project consists of education, canvassing, and outreach at public spaces such as churches and schools, as well as using phone banking. PSA's and informational materials will be developed to encourage voter registration and participation. The outreach team will inform and educate voters (particularly new voters) on the process such as where to register, complete the registration and the deadline to vote. Using iPads in addition to voter registration cards, residents will have the option to complete registration online immediately. Their goal is to register at least 100 new Black and Latino voters and collect at least 200 pledge cards to vote.   

Hartford Knights Corporation 

Hartford Knights received a grant to target in person, telephone (calls and Hustle), and social media outreach to register new voters and secure pledges for the 2019 and 2020 elections. Election day follow up including transportation to polls. Their goal is 200+ voter pledges, 100+ new voter registrations; 3,000 engaged through Hustle.

Hartford Next 

Hartford Next (formally Hartford 2000) received a grant for voter and census outreach to residents of Hartford's NRZ's. 2019 voter outreach will run from Aug. - Nov. in 2019.  Voter outreach in 2020 will focus on the primaries (Mar. - Apr.) and will run concurrently with the census outreach efforts, which will continue until June 2020. Activities include tables at neighborhood events, working with the Hartford Public Library to disseminate information, and providing transportation to the polls. Goals are: Engaging with 200 individuals for GOTV, 200 voter pledges, register 100 new voters, engage with 200 individuals for GOTC, and assist 100 individuals to complete the census. 

Hartford Parent University 

Hartford Parent University (HPU) will be out in the field starting September 1 canvassing Hartford residents to register to vote.  Tables will be set up in eight schools connected with HPU.  HPU will engage PTO leaders and School Governance Councils on the importance of voting with its parent membership.  Follow up calls to pledged voters and new voters will occur as a reminder to vote.  Education sessions around the importance of voting will continue after elections so that new residents in Hartford can be engaged.  The goal is to engage over a 1,000 disenfranchised residents, with a minimum of 100 registering to vote and 950 pledgings to vote. 

Hartford Public Library 

Hartford Public Library will utilize seven library locations as well as its mobile library, and contract a Project Support Specialist to oversee the coordination and implementation of various activities within the libraries and community.  Information sessions will be held at senior centers, shelters, family resource centers, community health centers, and churches.  HPL will engage immigrants and refugees through The American Place as well as low literate individuals through its Adult Education services and re-entry populations and at-risk youth through its American Job Center. Their goal is to increase awareness and knowledge for 5,430 individuals and for 600 to complete the Census Questionaire.  

Health Equity Solutions 

Health Equity Solutions received a grant for voter and census outreach. Working with their partners, Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Greater Hartford Chapter of The Links, Inc, Health Equity will: incorporate voter registration and voter pledges into planned workshops, community activities, and events, utilizing both paper and electronic methods; target young adults at local colleges; coordinate a social media campaign that emphasizes the importance of voting, the census and health; and add links to online voter pledge and registration to partner webpages and social media and electronic communications.  Their goals include 1,200 individuals engaged for voter registration and census, 200 new voter registrations, 300 pledges to vote, assist 150 individuals to complete the census.

Hispanic Health Council  

Hispanic Health Council received a grant to engage community members during routine services and special activities about the importance to vote and participate in the Census; support individuals in registering and voting (including transport) and completing Census.  Their goals include registering 100+ voters, 200+ pledge cards, 200+ having voted; 200+ able to complete census themselves, 100+ supported in completing the census. 

Latino Community Services Inc. 

Latino Community Services Inc. received a grant for voter and Census outreach at their offices and food pantry.  They will participate in National Voter Registration Day 2019 & 2020; hold 2-3 Voter registration drives at 15-25 participating Colleges and High Schools and provide support to get to polls. Their goals include registering 200+ new voters, 300+ pledge cards; and engage and inform 300+ about the Census, 100+ supported in completing the Census.

Make the Road 

Make the Road received a grant for Census outreach focused on engagement, outreach, and education and working directly with immigrant, Latinx and working-class populations in Hartford. They will utilize written materials in Spanish and English, in conjunction with auditory and artistic popular education. While Make the Road is based outside the Foundation's 29-town area, an exception has been made due to their presence in Hartford and the unique approach to their civic engagement work. Goals include engaging 200 people in the upcoming census within the Latinx community and assisting 100 individuals to complete the census.

San Juan Center, Inc. 

San Juan Center, Inc. received a grant for Census and voter outreach running. Activities will include utilizing volunteers to canvas the community, attending multiple activities, interactions at the main office and thrift store, series of public education tv spots, and social media outreach. Their goals include 500 pledge cards completed, 300 new registrations, engage 1,000 residents regarding the census.  

University of Connecticut Humphreys Institute 

University of Connecticut Humphreys Institute will train 1st-year social work students in voting and census outreach and provide voter and census outreach through field placements 2019/2020; Provide training for field placement supervisors; full-day free CE certification workshop for social workers; outreach for voter registration and census completion at UConn Hartford. Their goals include 300-400 new voter registrations each year at UConn plus many more through field placements; 120 Census forms completed during training plus many more through field placements.

Upper Albany Neighborhood Collaborative 

Upper Albany Neighborhood Collaborative will target residents of Hartford and engage a minimum of 300 people, register a minimum of 200 voters and follow-up with a minimum of 100 registered voters.

YWCA Hartford Region 

YWCA Hartford Region will provide voter education and registration through all existing programs, voter registration events, community canvassing in the city of Hartford, social media outreach and support to vote on election day 2019 & 2020. Their goals include 1,500 new voters registered to vote; 1,000 people pledged to vote; 300 people transported to polls.

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