Breaking down what filling out the census means for Columbus

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 4:53 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - 2020 has brought us quite a full plate, a pandemic, some tough times in our nation, an election year and who knows what else lies ahead? It’s easy to get distracted, but there are some important things to remember.

2020 is also a year where we look at progress across the nation through the census. And the answers we put down to the questions on the census can determine a lot.

The major question is, have you been counted? Through a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, News Leader 9 is working to share the importance and how it can have a direct impact on your future.

“Any federal appropriations that come to our community will come based on the population,” said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.

“It’s for things like hospitals, roads, bridges,” said Gloria Strode, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau.

When it comes to the flow of money from Washington D.C. down to the local level, the numbers tell the story. The census can have a major impact on something as small as the meals you eat or something as big as how quickly a fire truck is able to get to your location with life-saving efforts.

“For our young parents, it’s about headstart slots, it’s about school lunch programs. For our city, it’s about first responders and the things they need, we really have a lot at stake,” said Strode.

“Somebody looking to move a business or a restaurant into an area, they’re going to look at the census data to try and make sure that they’re making a sound business decision so, it’s important. Be counted,” said Mayor Henderson.

You should have received information in the mail about the census, but if you missed it, click here and answer a few simple identifiers and you can fill out the census there.

Another important note, the census cannot identify you to any other agencies; federal law prohibits such. So even if you are wanted for a crime, you can fill out the census and help your community.

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