Census numbers concerning
by Mark Rogers
With billions of federal dollars and even congressional seats on the line, many Alabamians have not completed their Census 2020 forms.
The numbers concern Alabama Counts Chairman Kenneth Boswell who noted that the national rate is currently 61.6 percent and Alabama is currently at 59.3 percent. In Butler County, the rate is 54.9 percent to lead the area with Crenshaw County at 53.7 percent. Boswell is concerned about Lowndes County too, which is currently at 48.9 percent.
“From the state’s perspective, we’re concerned about all of them,” Boswell said Monday in a phone interview. “Although they may be participating at a higher level than they did previously, what we’re asking is for individuals to be looking at this on a very serious note and the impact that it has on them and their families.”
Boswell said many people don’t realize the importance of the Census.
“When a person doesn’t think that it impacts them – no matter what socioeconomic background they come from, it affects us all,” Boswell said. “It impacts us all. If you don’t fill it out, it can affect me whether I filled it out or not – that is how people need to think of it. The point that the rising tide floats all boats. From our perspective, you need to take into account education, health care or highway infrastructure – it impacts every one of us.”
Boswell says the process is simple – people can go online, call or physically complete the paperwork.
“It’s the simplest – in my opinion and in my adult life that I’ve ever participated in,” Boswell said. “They ask nothing about your financial background. They ask basic demographic questions. It takes less than six minutes to fill it out. The federal government has given you multiple ways to fill it out.”
Boswell said participants still have time to complete the 2020 Census.
“If we were sitting at a normal response rate now, we would be in a red zone,” he said. “It has been extended until Oct. 31, so we have a reprieve, if you will.”
Boswell also addressed privacy questions people had.
“They have no defense when it comes to that from a standpoint of an excuse,” Bowell said. “It has just the basic demographic questions. It’s got nothing to do with finances. You can’t use the excuse you don’t have the resources to do it.”
Boswell encouraged people to fill out the Census information.
“I’d tell them – don’t bellyache to me if you lose benefits,” he concluded. “It doesn’t matter what socioeconomic group you are, we’re all going to lose money if we don’t participate. Don’t complain if you lose a congressperson or you don’t get that stimulus check because their voices helped us get that stimulus check. Their voices determine what happens in this state. It’s just making sure we get those federal taxes that we paid in back to the state.”
According to Census numbers Tuesday, McKenzie has the highest percentage of returns from towns and cities in Butler County with 63.3 percent. Greenville is at 55.9 percent and Georgiana at 42.3 percent.
In Crenshaw County, Luverne is at 60.8 percent, Brantley at 41.6 percent and Dozier at 35.5 percent.
In Lowndes County, White Hall is currently at 53.1 percent, Fort Deposit at 43.4 percent, Hayneville at 40.4 percent and Lowndesboro is at 38.3 percent.