Fill out your census form, please

Posted 4/17/20

The U.S. government is going to give the state of Alabama $1,600 for every resident you fills out a simple form.

$1,600. One form. Ten minutes. Civic duty, done.

But why should you care, …

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Fill out your census form, please

Posted

The U.S. government is going to give the state of Alabama $1,600 for every resident you fills out a simple form.

$1,600. One form. Ten minutes. Civic duty, done.

But why should you care, really. I mean, you don’t personally get the money so why bother, right?

Listen closely, you do get the money. In more ways than you can possibly count.

Did your kid eat lunch or breakfast at school for free or on a reduced fee meal plan? That $1,600 helped pay for that meal.

Are you a veteran? The money given to the state by the federal government for veterans’ programs is tallied by the census count.  No veterans, no money.

Do you have a student in college? Pell Grant dollars and student loans were distributed to Alabama students based on census counts.

Does food you receive from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program fill the bulk of your cupboards? Alabama receives money to support the SNAP program from the census count.

If you see a doctor using Medicare Part B and Medicaid benefits the money given to Alabama is also calculated using census numbers.

Now, if you are sitting back feeling lucky that you don’t use any of these government services, and therefore don’t need to complete the census, you should prepare for bumpy roads ahead. A cool $797 million in funds were allocated to Alabama for highway planning and construction after the last census count.

In all Alabama received $13 billion in 2016 for 55 programs that are guided in some part by data derived from the census.

Every one of us either is someone or knows someone who benefits from those programs.

And, every one of us either is someone or knows someone who benefits from the spending done by those programs and their constituents in our towns and municipalities. The money being spent ripples through our communities.

And it is not just money our state stands to lose. The federal government might stop hearing us.

The number of representatives that a state is allotted in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on the population count gathered in the census. Less people equals less representatives equals less of a voice in national issues.

Alabama is in danger of losing one of its seven congressional seats. If less people fill out the census form, that seat is guaranteed to be taken from us, and our voice on federal issues weakened.

Do your home state a favor and fill out the census form. With the new online format it takes a mere 10 minutes to say you did your part to make Alabama great. Complete it today at www.my2020census.gov