Final Push in Tract 3685

Published by Chris Wangler- September 2, 2020.

With the 2020 Census count wrapping up at the end of September, half the residents in one South Side area have not been counted.
As of last weekend, only 49.5% of residents in Census Tract 3685 have responded. The tract comprises neighborhoods east and west of Moody Street from Pine Street south to Ash Street.
2020 Census enumerators in Waltham in August.
That percentage needs to come up to meet or exceed the tract’s self-response rate of 63% in the 2010 Census.
If the area is undercounted, it could mean less federal assistance for those who live there, including low-income residents disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
“We’re working to ensure that everyone gets counted,” said city councilor-at-large Carlos Vidal, who lives on Ash Street. He and other community members have run a census table on Moody Street every Friday during the summer.
“Now more than ever, we need to have an accurate count so we can get the federal funding we are entitled to,” he said.
Vidal said the census is 100% confidential and safe. He added that progress has been made in the area in recent months. In early July, the self-response rate was under 40%.
Elsewhere the news is positive. Census tracts in North Waltham have responded impressively, with rates as high as 84% currently.
In Waltham overall, the current self-response rate is roughly 67%, nearing the 2010 Census total of 72%.
But as in previous years, trying to count the city’s transient populations remains a challenge, with a number of complicating factors.
The count was delayed due to the coronavirus, then the deadline was shortened by a month.
Since early August, census enumerators have been going door-to-door on the South Side, but it’s not easy during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, mistrust of government remains high, leading many not to fill out what they consider a politicized census form.