It has been preached time and time again over the last several months: everyone needs to complete the U.S. Census.
But why? Some of you may be wondering, what’s so important about being counted? Why is it important enough to flood my physical and digital mail boxes with reminders about it? Why is it important enough to send strangers to my door during a pandemic to make sure we complete it?
We’ll tell you why.
First of all, its required by the U.S. Constitution. It mandates a count of all persons across America be conducted every 10 years.
But it is much more than a head count.
Everyone in Newton County and the great state of Georgia needs to respond to the Census because the results impact us on national, state and local levels, shaping our future for the next decade.
Your response will help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding will be allotted over the next 10 years. This includes funding for hospitals and first responders.
It influences highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways and other public transit systems.
Census results influence how much money is allotted for education grants and programs that support teachers and school systems across the state.
And that only scratches the surface. Other programs to help provide housing for elders, support rural areas and even aid in the fight against child abuse are included.
The deadline to complete the census is Wednesday, Sept. 30. As of Sept. 21, Georgia was considered one of the lowest ranking states in its progress on the count.
A report from the Capitol Beat News Service stated “nearly 91% of households in Georgia had completed the census either on their own initiative or after census takers tracked them down via door-to-door visits or phone calls.”
And that’s a good thing. According to the report, that’s an increase from the 81% completion rate seen earlier this month. Unfortunately, we’re still lagging behind every other state in the country except Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Montana.
It’s really easy and there are multiple ways to respond: online, mail or over the phone.
To respond online, visit 2020Census.gov.
By mail, use the paid postage envelope provided by the Census Bureau. You likely received the paper questionnaire by mail in April.
To respond by phone, call 844-330-2020 and follow the instructions.
Either option you choose, it only takes about five minutes to complete the questionnaire.
Additional information can be found at 2020Census.gov.
If Georgians don’t step up and respond to the census, our state and its communities could be suffer for the next 10 years.
We don’t want that, and neither do you. so, for the love of Newton County — for the love our great state of Georgia — be counted. Complete the census.
Our View on the Issue is an opinion of The Covington News editorial board, which includes Owner Patrick Graham and Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck.