Valdosta leaders urge you to fill out census forms -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta leaders urge you to fill out census forms

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The Census Bureau named April First Census Day. To raise awareness about the importance of being counted, Valdosta leaders ceremoniously filled out their forms together Thursday.

An accurate count is important for cities and counties, because each person who isn't counted, represents about a $17,000 loss in federal funding over the next of ten years.

Community leaders and city officials filled out their census forms at a questionnaire assistance center in Valdosta Thursday and urged everyone to do the same.

"There's so much that's based upon the census, the distribution of funds for our schools for our libraries for our governments, the reapportionment of our congress. Even our local elected offices are determined, the boundaries determined," said Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson.

Lowndes County has a 48 percent census participation rate as of Thursday.

"We want 100 percent so we need everyone to get the forms that are at their house fill those forms out and mail them back in," said Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Fer-Rell Malone.

The Census form has 10 questions that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your information with anyone including law enforcement and federal agencies.

"Every time that a person does not fill a form out our community loses $1,700 a year," said Hanson.

And that adds up.

"It's definitely needed for more money to come in more jobs," said South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness Community Case Management Director Diane West.

"Census workers are trained to knock on their door 14 times to make sure so if you don't want anyone knocking on your door mail it in fill it out by April 15," said Malone.

People who haven't mailed their forms will receive a duplicate one in the mail next week. You can also pick up forms at two "Be Counted" sites in Valdosta, City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce.

Here are the 2010 Participation Rates for Lowndes County and the surrounding counties as of April 1, 2010:

National - 52%

Georgia - 47%

Lowndes - 48%

Berrien - 40%

Echols - 32%

Clinch - 36%

Lanier - 35%

Questionnaire Assistance Centers are staffed with trained Census employees who are there to help the community fill out their Census forms. Here's the three in Lowndes County.

South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness

601 N. Lee Street

Valdosta, GA 31601


Lowndes County Board of Elections Office

2808 N. Oak St.

Valdosta, GA 31601



Migrant Farmworkers Clinic


224 J. Frank Culpepper Rd.

Lake Park, GA 31636

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