In March, you will get a 2020 census questionnaire in the mail and Augusta leaders want to make sure you have the information you need ahead of time.
Augusta’s Complete Count Committee met on Wednesday to work on the local count efforts. They held a media event beforehand to highlight what community leaders are doing locally to make sure everyone in Augusta is counted. They also pointed out how you can help.
During the last census, Augusta had about 70% participation. This year, the Complete Count Committee is shooting for 90%.
“We in Augusta are very fortunate to have this committee up and running and going about the business,” says committee Co-chair and Augusta University Athletic Director Clint Bryant. “We’ve been meeting now for over a month and things look really really good.”
Bryant explains some of the ways the data gathered during the census impacts the community.
“From drawing federal, state and local legislative districts, to the distribution of over $675 billion annually in Federal funds across the country for needs such as infrastructure, attracting new businesses, and education,” Bryant says.
Committee co-chair and South State Bank Executive Vice President Robert Osborne highlights the business implications.
“If somebody’s looking at [building] a grocery store, the first thing they do is look at census information,” Osborne explains. “They look at the demographics, look at the age, the income, all of that, and the number of people and they will pick an area to do something.”
Mayor Hardie Davis says engaging families in hard-to-reach areas is going to be the difference that propels Augusta from previous 70% participation rates to their 90% goal. Right now they’re leveraging help from the Geographic Information System.
“We’re working internally with our GIS staff who are a part of our subcommittee as well. [The are] helping us to be able to know where those spots are in our city,” Mayor Davis says. “I think we’re going to be even more successful in 2020 than we’ve been in the past because we’re bringing all of those tools that are in our tool box to bear.”
Questionnaires will hit mailboxes between March 12-20. You can respond via mail, phone or online. In May and June, numerators will go door to door to the homes that did not respond.
The Federal Government is still looking for people to work as numerators as part of the 2020 census in the Augusta area. Mayor Davis says there are still about 300 spots left.
CLICK HERE if you are interested in working for the 2020 census efforts.