Message From the Mayor
It’s time for us to talk about the upcoming Census. Census Day nationwide is April 1. It’s imperative that when you receive your geo card census notice in the mail this year, that you do not throw it away. Here is what you are looking for! It should arrive mid-March. You will be able to fill out your census online using the geo-code on your card, by phone or by hard copy.
We are fortunate in our state to have a Governor who understands the importance of Census participation. Governor Kay Ivey and the State of Alabama are investing big bucks toward getting the Census forms filled out. The goal is a much stronger participation level than in years past as lawmakers look to thwart the potential loss of a congressional seat and federal funding.
The state has already doled out $1 million in grants to 34 agencies and organizations, and is expected to add $3 million for the campaign under the “Alabama Counts” Opens in New Window banner.
I’m excited to announce that Opelika was one of the agencies to receive a grant. We have already created a Complete Count Committee for our city and have had two successful planning meetings. We’ve divided our group into several sub-committees in order to better reach our citizens – Community Based Organizations, Education, Faith-Based, Business and Media.
In the coming months, our Opelika Counts team will be out educating the public about the importance of the 2020 Census. According to www.census.alabama.gov, “Funding to Alabama for many important programs that affect health care, education, housing assistance, infrastructure development and more is tied in some form to census data. An accurate count will ensure that the state receives its fair share of funding for these important programs.
The population count taken in the 2020 Census will also determine the allocation of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. States with the most population gains are projected to gain additional seats while states with population losses or slow growth are at risk of losing seats.
A projected slowed population growth in Alabama has put the state in danger of losing one of our seven congressional seats after the 2020 Census. These are the voices that represent us and stand up for our needs on the federal level. The loss of a Congressional representative would mean one less critical voice advocating for Alabama on the national stage. The only way to potentially avoid this outcome is for all Alabamians to participate in the 2020 Census.”
It is critical that we, as a community, rally together and make sure everyone in Opelika is counted. Our team will be hosting a community event in the coming months, as well as visiting with businesses, churches, community groups and others. Should you have any questions or concerns about the Census, please call our Community Relations office at 705.5136. Also, follow our Opelika Counts Facebook page for updates on census information in our area.
Many blessings to you and your family in the coming year. I anticipate great things for our community in 2020.