Census participation: Now’s your chance

If you’ve paid even the slightest attention to local, state and national media over the past nine months – nay, the past year – you might well be tired of hearing about Census 2020.

Well, buckle up folks. You’re about to hear about it one more time.

To refresh your memory, Census 2020 kicked off in March, right before the coronavirus pandemic began to dominate our thoughts and conversation. Since that time – and even starting in late 2019 – officials from the local all the way up through the national level have spent countless hours emphasizing how enormously important this 10-year population count is to our future.

Alabama is currently reporting the lowest response rate of any state in the nation, according to 2020census.gov. The state’s self-response rate is 62.3 percent; Franklin County lags behind that at 60.3 percent – better than about 2/3 of the counties in the state, but still not great. Frankly, it would appear there is a long way to go before we can count our participation efforts successful – and time is rapidly running out.

The U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census Sept. 30, a month sooner than first planned. If you haven’t yet responded – well, now’s your chance.

Getting an accurate census count isn’t just about numbers for numbers’ sake. Our census count affects everything from how many federal representatives we have to how much federal funding we receive. Roads, bridges, schools, healthcare, the workforce – all are impacted by the census count.

Forty percent of you in Franklin County have ignored your civic responsibility to help make sure we have a good outcome for Alabama.

But it’s not too late! Now’s your chance!

Your participation will help determine quality of life for you, your children and your grandchildren over the next decade. With only about six minutes of your time, you can help ensure a brighter future for all of us.

What’s the bottom line? Respond to the Census. Take the six minutes and provide the needed information about the head count in your household.

Worried about your privacy? Don’t be. By law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home or your business, even to law enforcement agencies.

It’s easy to respond. Just visit https://my2020census.gov.