Census count committee urges South Georgians to report - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Census committee urges So. Georgians to report

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The 2010 Census is coming up, and some south Georgians are organizing to encourage you to take part. 

The census is about more than just counting heads. It can make a huge difference in the quality of life in our communities.

The Constitution requires the government count the population every ten years. The information determines the number of seats each state will have in Congress.

It also helps decide where hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money will be spent. Top Albany marketers will urge everyone in South Georgia to fill out their census form,  so the region can get the most of those government dollars.

The Complete Count Committee wants to make sure you realize how vital each census form is to South Georgia. Ten years ago the city of Albany only had 57 percent of Census forms returned.   The national average was 67 percent. And another low response in 2010 could cost South Georgians big time.

Co-chair Howard Brown said "Why, because there is over 300 billion dollars that's lost from not responding. It's estimated that for every questionnaire that's not mailed back, it's a thousand dollars per person that we are losing in federal funding in our area."

Funding to help public transportation, health programs, education funding, housing. So the Complete Count Committee is targeting those most likely not to fill out a census form, the poor and non U.S. born residents.

 Executive Team member Harriet Hollis said "To get them familiar, to get them to trust, to make them understand that it doesn't matter what their status is. That it's important that they be counted."

The Census also determines the number of Representatives for South Georgia in Congress and the state legislature.   Vital for South Georgia, which is losing population to larger cities like Atlanta. Each person counted in the Census will help South Georgia's future.

Hollis said "So for ten years we are going to have to live with whatever the outcome is. So we need to make the best effort we can to make everyone count."

Census day is April 1, 2010.  The committee hopes to make hard to count South Georgians understand it's vital to them and the next decade in the community not to throw that census form in the trash.

The Census form should be mailed to every household before March.....and should take only about 10 minutes to fill out. In May, June, and July census takers will visit households that did not return questionnaires by mail.

The Census is only ten questions such as whether you own or rent your house and how many people live there. Your information can not be shared with any federal agencies, including law enforcement.

      • Click HERE for more information fro the Census Bureau

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