Local Census 2020 Complete Count Committee established

Published 12:23 pm Sunday, July 21, 2019

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AMERICUS — With less than a year until the 2020 Census Day on April 1, the City of Americus and the Sumter County community are looking to increase participation with the formation of a Complete Count Committee.

City of Americus Council members approved a resolution to form the committee at Thursday night’s council meeting.  The Complete Count Committees (CCC) program is key to creating awareness in communities all across the country. The CCCs utilize local knowledge, influence, and resources to educate communities and promote the census through locally based, targeted outreach efforts. The CCCs provide a vehicle for coordinating and nurturing cooperative efforts between state and local governments, communities, and the Census Bureau. Finally, CCCs help the Census Bureau get a complete count in 2020, through partnerships with local governments and community organizations

“The goal is to really drive participation,” Americus City Manager Charles L. Coney said. “The city will get a higher amount of per capita share from the state of Georgia revenues based on the recorded population. Census data has been used as the basis for distributing more than

$675 billion in federal funds annually to states, counties, and communities to support resources such as schools, hospitals, fire departments, roads, and other infrastructure. Based on numbers from the last Census in 2010, each Georgian that participated brought $1,639.10 to the state.  The population count also determines the number of seats a state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

According to the Census Bureau website, by April 2020 U.S. households will receive invitations in the mail to participate in the census. When completing the census, participants will note where they are living on April 1. Getting residents to participate is key for municipalities and as such the same resolution has been circulated for approval to the cities of Andersonville, DeSoto, Leslie, and Plains. The Sumter County Board of Commissioners has the resolution for consideration on its August agenda.

Participation of Sumter residents in the 2000 and 2010 censuses was 62 percent and 67 percent, respectively, according to the Census Bureau website. Coney challenges, “We are hoping to reach 90+ percent participation if not 100 percent. If we get the word out and get people to participate, that’s an attainable goal.”

Recently, One Sumter partnered with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia

(ACCG) and Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) representatives to convene local leaders in planning for the Census endeavor and offer guidance. During the meeting, it was agreed to work toward having the same resolution signed by the county and municipalities to allow uniformity in structure. “As a part of those efforts, our government officials have been working to include representatives from Sumter County and all five municipalities — Americus, Andersonville, DeSoto, Leslie, and Plains — as well as establishing subcommittees, to include each sector of our community,” said Ivy Oliver, interim executive director, One Sumter Economic Development Foundation Inc. “Interested community organizations, religious institutions, affiliates, and volunteers are invited to send a representative to the next meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 25 at Rees Park Economic Development (409 Elm Ave., Americus).”  Special guest, Gloria Strode, regional Partnership specialist from the Atlanta Regional Census Center, will be present and will conduct a mini-training session.

“We have been conducting the census for the population count since 1790, and so it is our mission for the 2020 Census to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” Strode said.

The city will continue to provide an update on the community’s efforts on the 2020 census at future city council sessions and meetings.