Augusta City leaders to have meeting on census participation


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Time is ticking to complete on the 2020 census and the Greater Augusta Interfaith Coalition wants you to participate.

At the commission meeting yesterday, Augusta City leaders tabled giving the coalition $50,000 dollars. That vote will be today.

Census results determine how much federal money is distributed to our community. It also helps determine representation in Washington.

So, the more people that fill it out, the more federal funding comes to Richmond County.

The county, right now, is at 56% participation rate. The Greater Augusta Interfaith Coalition will use the $50,000 dollars to increase participation. They want to buy new technology and safety wear for volunteers to go around neighborhoods and get them to sign up.

Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Interfaith Coalition, Reverend Christopher G. Johnson, says, “planning and development has been crippled because the numbers are not there. So, we have to get the numbers up. And, right now, what we’re doing is have a group at the Municipal Building.”

Johnson says people are scared to fill the form out.

They’ve told him they believe it’s giving the government too much personal information.

He says there’s also been a lot of movement in the past ten years, and when people don’t physically see it in the mail, they just don’t fill it out.

“We have to take it to them in order to reach and maximize the opportunities they had before, because bare in mind, if you don’t fill your census out, we lose $2,300 a year,” says Johnson.

The coalition will be collecting data today in the Municipal Building lobby in Richmond County.

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