Advancing the Count

THE DEMAND FOR EXPANSIVE SUPPORT FROM THE US POSTAL SERVICE FOR THE 2020 CENSUS

OVERVIEW

The Reach of U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service is one of the largest direct mail organizations in the world. It not only delivers mail and packages but touches every community across the nation through both its workforce, online infrastructure and retail stores. Here are some of the numbers you may not know off hand: 

  • Forty-seven percent of the world’s mail volume is handled by the Postal Service.
  • There are 31,324 Postal Service-managed retail Post Offices in the United States. 
  • The Postal Service recorded 838.7 million retail customer visits during 2018. 
  • Megan J. Brennan is the 74th Postmaster General of the United States. Brennan is the first female Postmaster General, beginning her tenure in February 2015. 
  • With one of the largest corporate email systems, the Postal Service handles more than 3.5 million legitimate emails a day delivered to more than 222,000 email accounts. 
  • There are nearly 42,000 ZIP Codes in the country. 
  • The Postal Service had $70.6 billion in operating revenue in 2018 
  • In 2018, usps.com recorded 2.3 billion visits — averaging 6 million visitors each day. It’s one of the most frequently visited government sites. 

THE POTENTIAL 

The 2017/2018 Test  

As part of a long-standing collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Postal Service installed kiosks in 30 post offices in Providence County, R.I., to help the public respond to the 2018 Census Test.   Interactive kiosks included an internet accessible tablet for the public to fill out their 2018 Census Test questionnaire while at the post office. Responses to the census are safe, secure and protected by law.       The information entered at each kiosk was through a dedicated Census Bureau website and was transmitted directly to the Census Bureau. The Postal Service did not capture, store or transmit any data to the Census Bureau through the kiosks. The kiosks were available through July 2018 which gave the public an additional way to be counted in the 2018 Census Test.    The Census Bureau also used the U.S. Postal Service’s Informed Delivery feature, where subscribers receive an email notification enabling them to digitally preview their letter-sized mail and manage their packages scheduled to arrive that day. As subscribers view the image of the Census Bureau’s 2018 Census Test mail, it will be accompanied by a ‘Respond Now’ image that will take the user straight to the 2018 Census Test online questionnaire.    The 2018 Census Test is a critical part of preparations for the nation’s upcoming 2020 Census and includes almost 280,000 housing units in Providence County. The 2018 Census Test will help the Census Bureau validate its readiness for 2020 Census operations, procedures, systems and field infrastructure for the once-a-decade census of the population and housing units. 

OUR DEMANDS 

What this Means for 2020 – Continuing to Support the Complete Count  

The Census Bureau and USPS must continue to scale up partnership efforts in 2020. We the general public demand to see a formal Memorandum of Understanding in support of the 2020 Census that ensure activity-specific Interagency Agreements including but not limited to the following:  

  • Enumeration Support In Communities that Have High Non-response Rates

      USPS maintains a permanent, well-trained, and experienced labor force that has gained public trust and detailed knowledge of the addressing and residential patterns in communities they serve. We would want to see that postal carriers are positioned as enumerators as part of Nonresponse Follow up. 

  • Interactive Kiosk and Information Booths 

    Interactive kiosks and information booths should be enabled in Post Offices to allow customers to fill out their Census questionnaire and get additional critical information regarding the census process. 

  • Community Engagement 

    A marketing and outreach campaign that places signage, flyers, and other materials in Post Offices to encourage response.

  • Informed Delivery 

    Leveraging the USPS subscription service where customers receive a preview of their mail via email; allows for interaction with some mail content via barcode or similar technology. Also, special promotion on the USPS website and social media platforms – digital ads, PSAs and other forms of promotion. 

CALL TO ACTION 

Please contact the US Postal Service Board of Governors, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer and the Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Government Relations Officer demanding that they fully support the 2020 Census complete count efforts by investing in Information Kiosk, Enumeration Support, Census Promotion (Online and offline) and leveraging informed delivery to ensure mail arrives at the targeted households. 

  • Tweet @USPS

    • Sample Tweet A: We the people demand that the US Postal service use it’s discretionary power to fully support the 2020 Census #MakeMyFamilyCount 
    • Sample Tweet B: Every postal store should have an interactive kiosk and information to complete the 2020 Census! #MakeMyFamilyCount 
    • Sample Tweet C: The US Postal service should be a hub online and offline for completing the 2020 Census #MakeMyFamilyCount 
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