The Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon (CEFCO) is excited to welcome Dancing Hearts Consulting as our Statewide Census Equity Coordinator! Dancing Hearts, led by founder and principal consultant, Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett, is a values-driven political consulting firm of innovative thinkers who bring on-the-ground experience to bring a more reflective, responsive and accountable American Democracy. Esperanza has spent the last 17 years building policial power for working class, immigrant, and communities of color in Oakland, around the state of California, and across the country. Her unique role and work at the intersection of progressive politics, the social justice movement and progressive philanthropy has earned her dozens of awards including the 2010 Redford Center Art of Activism Awards, the Oakland League of Women Voters’ Democracy Award 2014, and the Alameda Labor Council’s Community Organization of the Year 2015.

Dancing Hearts will be working with a set of community partners now through June 30 to develop a comprehensive implementation plan for a Get Out the Count 2020 Census campaign targeting Hard to Count (HTC) populations across Oregon. They will continue working through the implementation of the plan in 2020 and support redistricting efforts in 2021.

Since January of 2018, a group of Oregon funders has been meeting to learn about public, philanthropic and nonprofit plans to engage in the 2020 Census. We have heard from US Census staff, City and State partners, state-based and national philanthropic partners across the country and community-based nonprofits.

As Oregon funders, we recognize the critical nature of the Census to all the populations we aim to serve in our individual organizations, particularly (though not exclusively) because Census data will affect the allocation of state and federal resources to those populations for a decade or more. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

The Census has never been completely successful in capturing accurate numbers for specific populations that have been historically undercounted, but this time it’s likely to be much worse. Why?

  • The Census Bureau has been fraught with unprecedented challenges, including insufficient and delayed funding, resulting in canceled tests and scaled back preparations
  • Cybersecurity threats (real and perceived) and the digital divide, as the first high-tech census rolls out
  • The Commerce Secretary has proposed a citizenship status question, which, if included, will deter a significant number of respondents
  • Community reluctance and fear of sharing information with the government

We believe that collaborating and coordinating our approach is the best way to support an accurate and equitable count in 2020. To that end, we have developed a set of shared principles and goals (see below), chief among them to align our funding to increase the response rate in “hard-to-count” communities. We’re also formalizing membership as the Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon (CEFCO). We will be splitting our funding into two phases.

If your questions were not answered in the recorded session, please reach out to Lauren Gottfredson, Community Collaborations Manager, at 

RFP Process Timeline

RFP Announced November 29
Proposers Q&A Webinar December 13
Proposal Due Date January 8       
Proposal Review and Decision January 16
Finalist Interviews January 18
Award Letter Sent

January 21

Contract Start: Phase 1 February 1, 2019
Phase 2 July 1, 2019
Phase 3 January 1, 2021 
Contract End December 31, 2021