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Census group states purpose

The Franklin County Census Committee recently met to discuss its vision, purpose and goals for the upcoming 2020 Census Count. Members said they are hopeful for an increased response rate – and community inclusivity – this time around.

Richard Rowland, who is leading the county committee, said members would like to see a 2020 census result for Franklin County of 120 percent of the current census estimate of 31,500, which would be 37,800 – a 6,300 increase. He said he believes most of that increase will come from Hispanic/Latino communities in Franklin County.

“We failed, we believe, in 2010 to record a large portion of that cohort, especially non-citizens and their children,” Rowland said.

Rowland added it is the committee’s hope to inspire a count of 90 percent or more of that population.

The more accurate a census count, Rowland explained, the better the representation the community and its individual members will have in the government. The census also helps determine the amount of funding to be made available for the area. Rowland said this proposed increase could amount to about $10,080,000 each year – $1,600 per person – to the state of Alabama and Franklin County.

Between the 2020 Census and the 2030 Census, that could amount to $100,800,000 in additional cash flow.

Having a more integrated community in Franklin County is another goal to which Rowland said the committee is looking forward.

“The census gives us an opportunity to take major improved and ongoing activities and actions to integrate the Latino population into the whole of our community, giving each of us both individually and collectively more resources to pursue a more fulfilling future,” he said.

Building a cohesive community can improve the quality and character of the workforce, decrease poverty and create more entrepreneurship as well as nurture more combined productivity, Rowland said.

Concrete plans to achieve all of these goals are still in the works as 2020 draws nearer.

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