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Phoenix Invests In Wi-Fi Enabled Vans For 2020 Census

The upcoming U.S. census will be the first to allow online submissions — people will be able to complete the constitutionally-mandated survey through a secure web portal.

To help reach people who may not have regular internet access, the city of Phoenix has partnered with Cisco and Microsoft to create mobile census vans. 

Leila Gamiz with the City says these vans are just part of a large outreach program to make sure 2020’s count is accurate.

“These vans are equipped with WiFi, they have tablets on them," Gamiz said. "So we’re trying to bridge that digital divide that could exist by getting these out in the community. We’re working with grassroots organizations to get the word out — the community trusts them. So we’re working with them to help us be the ambassador in the community.”

An inaccurate census count could cost the city of Phoenix close to $860 million of federal funding annually.

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Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.