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Next year’s census important to area

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Next year Census
Day will fall on April
1 “April Fool’s Day”,
but the Census is by no
means a joke for the state
of Alabama. The 2020
numbers could change
the amount of federal
funding the state receives
and also how the voice of
Alabamians is heard in
Washington D.C.
The census, as mandated
by the United States
Constitution, and is
conducted every 10 years.
Many Alabamians
do not realize how not
participating in the census
could aff ect them. One
benefi t is federal funds
and grants, which supports
communities. However,
the funding is based on
population totals and
breakdowns by sex, age,
race and other factors.
So if everyone is not
accounted for Alabama
will get fewer funds.
When you respond to
the census, you help not
only Alabama, but also
Chambers County gets
its fair share of the more
than 675 billion dollars
per year in federal funds.
These funds are spent on
schools, hospitals, roads,
public works and other
vital programs such as
medicaid.
The census also eff ects
industry and business.
The Greater Valley Area
Chamber of Commerce
held a Census meeting last
week. The GVACC knows
that businesses use census
data to decide where to
build factories, offi ces and
stores, and this creates
jobs and growth.
911-director Jessica
Yager, and Chambers
County Sheriff Sid
Lockhart spoke to the
Rotary Club in LaFayette
last week on Tuesday
about the census.
Local governments use
the census for public
safety and emergency
preparedness. Yager urged
everyone to participate
in the census because
it directly aff ects her
911 center by providing
funds and life saving
information.
With the addition of
a citizenship question
this year, the fear is that
participation will drop
and possibly undercount
people currently living in
Alabama.
As Gov. Kay Ivey has
stated, Alabama needs to
be at 70 percent return
of this year’s census, or
it is in danger of losing a
member of Congress for
the fi rst time in 50 years.