GALLIPOLIS — As the 2020 U.S. Census approaches, community leaders are encouraging city and county residents to make sure they digitally file the necessary information with the federal government in order to ensure government programs allocate accurate funds in the future.
From infrastructure improvements to school funding, census data is widely used by multiple branches of both the state and federal government to set allocation amounts. Development of new policy and research also depends on the large data set, and when census tracts return lower percentages of respondents, accuracy can be a concern.
To ensure high response rates, local leaders have formed the Gallia County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. The group’s efforts will focus on highlighting the importance of census participation and offering the necessary resources to residents. Gallia County Commissioner Harold Montgomery was chosen to serve as committee chair.
“In 2010, 75 percent of the citizens of Gallia County participated in the Census, which left a lot of potential funding on the table. We hope to increase the participation rate for 2020 by at least 10 percent,” said Harold Montgomery, Gallia County Complete Count Committee Chair.
Complicating the issue this year is the federal government’s move to digitize filing of census information. Residents are expected to begin receiving postcards from the U.S. Census Bureau beginning in March, which will have the necessary information to go online and file the information.
Other organizations in Gallia County involved with the complete Census effort include the Gallia County Board of Commissioners, City of Gallipolis, Gallia County Department of Job & Family Services, Gallia County Department of Economic Development, Gallia Meigs Community Action and Area Agency on Aging. Representatives from all civic organizations, the business community and nonprofits are encouraged to reach out to Lori Church, Gallia County Complete Count Committee Liaison, at Lori.Church@JFS.Ohio.Gov to join the committee.