Federal officials arrived in Yazoo County last week to spread awareness surrounding the upcoming 2020 Census in an effort to document accurate population numbers.
Accurate population counts could mean more government money to be used within the community.
“It allows us as citizens to determine our economic and political power,” said Titus Braboy, Census partnership specialist. “It enables us to determine how much money the state will receive from the federal government.”
The Census is a once-a-decade operation in which every household in the United States will be asked to answer a short series of questions that will influence policymaking and planning for the next decade. An accurate count of the population serves as the basis for fair political representation and plays a vital role in many areas of public life.
During the recent Yazoo County Board of Supervisors meeting, Braboy encouraged the county board to establish accountability committees to ensure an accurate population count is recorded next year.
“Our numbers were not 100 percent accurate during the last Census,” Braboy said. “As a result, our money was short. It is our opportunity to participate in this annual population count. This is critical for us.”
Beginning in April 2020, citizens can participate in the Census by participating online, through phone and mail communication or through a Census representative.
Aside from securing federal money, an accurate population count plays a vital role in political representation.
“In 2021, state officials will begin redistricting different seats,” Braboy said. “Those seat redistricting lines will be based on population.”
In 2000, the state held onto to five Congressional seats. However, in 2010, that number was reduced to four.
“We don’t want to lose another seat,” Braboy said. “It is important that we have our population count accurate.”
Citizens can fill out online applications beginning March 23. By mid-April, a second letter will be mailed. After April, representatives will be handling applications door-to-door.
“We are also aggressively hiring people to assist with the Census,” Brayboy said.
Those hired would visit residents within their community to document populations between May and July. In August, the Census would wrap up with the President receiving a final count on Dec. 31 to help determine funding.
“The reality is that people are afraid to let the government know about them,” Braboy added. “It is important to know that nothing shared with the Census is revealed to anyone else. The decisions we make in 2020 effects all of us. We need to do everything as can to ensure everybody is county.”
To apply for joining the 2020 Census team, visit 2020census.gov/jobs or call 1-855-JOB-2020.