The following is a letter to the editor from Debra Robinson Goodman in the Vicksburg Mayor’s office. Opinions and views expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Vicksburg Daily News.
Every 10 years we, as citizens, are called upon to complete the census; but, for some reason, this year seems more crucial than ever to actively participate in the count. Could it be the current issues facing our country — a global pandemic, raging fires, rampant flooding, heighten racial injustices, threats of global warming and mitigating climate changes to name a few?
The 2020 census is by no means the cure-all for these issues but completing the questionnaire will certainly allow us to make a difference in how they are addressed. By being part of the count, we can participate in deciding where federal monies are spent and how we are represented.
Vicksburg has a population of fewer than 25,000, which limits the city from competing for grants and monies to enhance our city. Census data will directly affect fund distributions for health initiatives, educational programs, disaster recovery as well as other critical programs for the next 10 years! We certainly want to ensure that these programs in Vicksburg and Warren County are fully funded — we don’t want to leave any money on the table.
The 2020 census will determine Warren County’s congressional representation, ensure that a portion of hundreds of billions in federal funding are allocated to our county and provide vital statistics that will impact Vicksburg and Warren County for the next decade. Additionally, the 2020 census data will be used to draw congressional and state legislative districts, which will directly impact our city and county.
To date, the response rates for Vicksburg and Warren County are 60.9% and 58.3%, respectively, noting that the national response rate is 65.9% and Mississippi’s response rate is 59.5%. There are five states that are in the 99th percentile — we want to help our state reach that goal!
The deadline for completing the nine-item questionnaire is Thursday, Sept. 30, 2020. There are three ways to be counted:
- Mail in the paper copy, which must be postmarked by the Sept. 30 deadline.
- Dial in to the toll-free number, 844-330-2020.
- Or complete the survey online at https://my2020census.gov/.
Additionally, there are census enumerators in Vicksburg and Warren County, ensuring that the hard-to-count areas are included. These trained enumerators are identifiable by distinctive 2020 census badges and U.S. Department of Commerce insignia.
For more information or assistance in responding to the 2020 census, please contact the City of Vicksburg Mayor’s Office or the Warren County Board of Supervisors.
It is important to mention that census responses are safe, secure and confidential. By federal law, the responses will not be shared and may only be used statistically.
Finally, when we respond to the census, we help Vicksburg and Warren County get its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on education, medical care, infrastructure, public works and other programs. For example, developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods which we desperately need in our communities.
We all benefit when YOU complete the 2020 census questionnaire!
Debra Robinson Goodman
City of Vicksburg/Mayor’s Office
2020 Census Liaison
Opinions and views expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Vicksburg Daily News.