Mon August 14, 2023

By Dillan Kelsey

Local CBOs host town hall featuring Regional Census Official

Hope, Arkansas, August 2023 – Community members, government staff and officials, grant writers and the public are invited to join VOTE SoAR and Concerned Citizens of Prescott for a joint town hall to hear from Deborah "Toni" Pitchford, U.S. Census Bureau's Data Dissemination Specialist for Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. The event will be on Thursday August 17, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the VOTE SoAR office 109 S. Walnut, Hope.

Currently, as Data Dissemination Specialist, Pitchford helps individuals, organizations, elected officials, and educational entities navigate the Census website to assist with planning, research, and grant writing. Pitchford will discuss how to navigate the U.S. Census website to reach grant seekers, K-12 students, businesses and entrepreneurs, and researchers from beginners to experts.

Sylvia C. Brown, VOTE SoAR founder and community engagement specialist, shared, “There are a number of folks in the community that want to be professional grant writers, and community based organizations (CBOs) that want to pursue grants and donations. To be successful they must start with a narrative, a story that's shaped by data, information about the clients they want to serve, and information about the resource gaps in the community.”

Cosponsor Elaine Williams who is a key contact with the Concerned Citizens of Prescott points out, “In my role as an elected official the Census data is used in legislative redistricting after the population count every 10 years. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; the Census is so much more than a decennial event!”

Toni Pitchford is a native of Chicago. After working in various capacities as an entrepreneur, in private business, and city and state governmental sectors, she began her career with the Census Bureau in 1996.

The town hall is free and you are welcome to bring a guest. Please register so we can plan correctly by texting 870-826-7890 with your name and guest's name.