The 2020 Census is still several months down the road, but Logan County officials are attempting to make sure everyone knows about the financial impact a proper census can have on the County. In that effort, officials held a meeting last week for leaders in the County to help form a committee and get a jump start on the process.
The meeting included mayors from most towns and communities in the area, including a representative from a local volunteer fire department, in which Logan County Judge Gack hopes will enable more efficiency when spreading the word about the upcoming 2020 Census.
“This meeting was to inform the importance of getting an accurate count for the 2020 Census,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Partnership Specialist Sherry Brown.
In the past, each municipality has formed its own census committee, but Judge Gack feels that more clarity and efficiency would take place if the County formed one committee with a representative from each municipal.
“Each municipality could do their own committee,” Gack explained, “and we talked about whether to do that. But as a county, we decided that we would step up and ask for our communities to assign representatives to the committee on a countywide level.”
For the first time, the Census Bureau will offer an online data collection system, which should allow for more data to be collected in a shorter amount of time, and also allow for a more rapid count and release of data once the census is completed.
That funding has a real impact on communities in Logan County and will benefit from projects that are currently being implemented and future plans.
“Census data is how we secure the funding to meet community needs. If we aren’t counting everyone, we aren’t maximizing the dollars we can get,” said Judge Ray Gack.
The funds received through the census data provide the monies that the County receives for programs such as Medicaid, Snap, free and reduced school lunches, emergency services including the fire departments, highways and even library grants.
“Everyone will start receiving a postcard notice about the census in March and the enumerators will start going door to door in May,” said Brown. “Everyone will get the same questionnaire and I believe it is ten questions that ask your name, age, gender, race, date of birth and number of people living in your household.”
Judge Gack said that social media is going to be a critical factor in letting the residents of Logan County know about the upcoming 2020 Census and just how important it is to have accurate and factual information recorded.
“We need neighborhood associations, nonprofits, faith leaders, businesses and local officials to all work together, so we can get the word out about the importance of the 2020 Census,” said Brown.
Gack believes focusing the message on the positive impacts that can come from completing the census will result in a higher response rate.
This is just one of several meetings the County will have as the census gets closer as Gack and others attempt to make sure the process goes smoothly here in Logan County.
The 2020 census is also advertising for paid enumerators to go door-to-door, and applications are available at 2020census.gov/en/jobs.