Census is important

Published 8:23 am Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2010 is a very important time for us all. It is not just income tax time, but equally important, it is Census Time.

Every 10 years the U.S. government attempts to get a more accurate count of how many people and who we are and who lives where. The government is not being nosy, but it does need to know how many people live in each city, town, county and state. Much depends upon this count.

Our representation in Congress is determined by population. How many representatives does each state receive? What is the makeup of the districts they represent? We all get two senators who are elected at-large, but the congressional districts are drawn by population.

Our state legislature – senators and delegates – represent specific areas depending on the population. These districts — 40 senatorial districts and 100 House of Delegate seats – are all determined by where people live.

Equally as important is the division of federal fund allocations for a marinade of programs is based on population numbers, ethnicity, income and family status. Many programs are funded according to these demographics.

The funding formula for schools is directly related to our population. So the more complete our census data is, the more fairly we can be represented, funded and assisted.

Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight share congressmen, state senators and state delegates. So each jurisdiction needs to be as thorough as possible in getting our census as accurate as we can — for the health and representation of us all.

The area of Franklin around South Street has been determined to be the lowest-responding area in the region. Therefore to assist and motivate residents to step up and be counted, many activities and assistance are being focused on that area of our city.

There will be another special enrollment meeting capped off with a “March to the Mail Box” on April 10th to put your completed census in the mail. Gather at the Martin Luther King Center for the march.

It only takes 10 minutes to complete the form; postage is free. If you do not complete the census, someone will be paid $70-$80 to visit your house or apartment to complete the census form. That costs — wastes — million of dollars to make these house calls when simply filling out the form does the job.

Census Day at City Hall is scheduled for Thursday, April 8, in the lobby, where assistance will be given to anyone who wants help in completing the census form.

Please help us be counted, save money and complete the census. We all want to know you are there. You are important. See you at the mail box now or on April 10th!