A press summit held Tuesday morning, July 21, featured Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and others urging citizens to complete their Census 2020 report. “The 2020 Census is critical to our state,” Governor Ivey said. “At current response numbers we remain at serious risk of losing [legislative] representation and federal funding.” The governor said statewide, Alabama currently has a 59.8 percent response rate for the self-report time of the 2020 Census. She said that is two percentage points behind the national response rate. “We can and must do better,” Ivey said. “Sixty percent just won’t get it! There is still time to self-report.” She said losing federal funding could mean less money for schools, roads, and other federally funded programs the state and its people currently have in place. Kenneth Boswell, chairman of the Alabama Counts! 2020 census committee, said everyone realizes the COVID-19 pandemic had overshadowed the focus on the Census this year, but he said there needs to be a continued push now to be sure Alabamians are completing and returning their Census information. “We are making a push now because this Census information will impact us for the next 10 years,” Boswell said. “Right now, we would lose one, if not two, representatives at the federal level for our state with the current response.” Marilyn Stephens, the assistant regional manager for the Census Bureau’s Atlanta Region, said Alabama is leading many states in the region with response, but there is still room to improve the numbers before Census workers are asked to start making door-to-door contacts. On Aug. 11th we will start knocking on doors to get the Census questionnaire completed,” Stephens said. “Today, however, is the day to respond and complete the questionnaire ahead of time to prevent that knock at your door.” Ivey said Census workers going door-to-door beginning Aug. 11th would play an important role in helping Alabama maintain its federal funding and representation. She said these workers would help increase the state’s overall census reporting numbers. For instance, the governor said in 2010 the self-report rate for Alabama was 62.5 percent, and that percentage increased to a 72 percent Census response for the state with the door-to-door follow-up. However, she said for those citizens wanting to avoid a knock at the door by a census worker, it is easy to complete the Census questionnaire and would only take about 6 minutes to do so. “To avoid a knock at the door, go ahead and self-report before August 11th,” Governor Ivey said. “Fortunately for all of us this is a marathon, not a sprint. We still have time, but it is crucial that all Alabamians are accounted for with the 2020 Census.” Stephens said Alabama counts for every resource available to it, and she, along with the others, encourages all citizens to go ahead and get their report done by self-reporting today. The governor said citizens wanting to self-report can visit the website: www.my2020census.gov; call 1-844-330-2020 to answer the questions via telephone; or by mailing the paper form sent out earlier this year in return mail. In Elba, help is available to citizens in completing the 2020 Census report. City of Elba officials have announced that several city offices would be open throughout the month of July to assist citizens with filling out their 2020 Census information. Anyone needing assistance in filling out the Census information, can make an appointment with Elba City Hall each Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.; the Elba Chamber of Commerce office on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 – 5 p.m.; and at the Elba Public Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be someone available to assist with this information based on appointments. To make an appointment at Elba City Hall call 897-2333; Elba Chamber call 897-3125; or the Elba Public Library call 897-6921. October 31, 2020 is the last day to complete the Census report.

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