City leaders work to boost census response

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 11:23 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Large sums of federal funding is up for grabs. This money is divvied out to different states and cities, but if people don’t fill out the Census, their community won’t get it’s fair share.

State Representative Laura Hall said the census impacts the next 10 years, and it determines the money that will pay for the roads you travel on and the school your child goes to.

“Much of Alabama’s budget depends on the federal dollars," Representative Hall said.

She also said the census benefits everyone in your community.

“Especially since so much of our population is on Medicaid resources, many of those budgets are based on the amount of funds we get from the federal government," she said. “Whether you are users of those SNAP dollars or not, it’s important for everyone to fill out the census to make sure those dollars are available.”

Karen Stanley with The Coalition for Justice through Civic Engagement said if you don’t fill out the 2020 Census, that could mean money taken away from your community .

“For example if the federal government thinks that the Alabama population has gone down, while the Florida population has gone up then Florida is going to get more money in food benefits or hospital distributions.”

Stanley said the reporting so far in Alabama, is critically low. According to the Census website, the state’s self response rate is at 62.9 percent.

Joe Stevenson is the Interim Pastor at the Progressive Union Missionary Baptist Church, and he said his church is also working to change this. They even hosted a drive thru event to encourage census participation.

“The numbers mean something,” Interim Pastor Stevenson said. “Being under reported mean that you are going to be under funded.”

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