The City of Cullman received a $40,000 grant from the state of Alabama to help fund programs to increase Alabama’s self-response rate during the 2020 Census this spring. The city is working with more than 30 other organizations in the county to ensure an accurate 2020 Census count.
Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs noted that the grant application was a group effort in Cullman County “Everybody worked together on that for the betterment of everybody,” he said. The partners in the group - which includes all the cities, the county, schools, non profits and businesses - realize what’s at stake in the count.
“A lot of federal dollars are dependent on how big you are,” said Jacobs. Congressional seats are also allocated according to population, so if Alabama undercounts its population, the state could lose representation in Washington, D.C. “That really hurts you when you need something,” said Jacobs.
County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker also noted the importance of getting an accurate count in the Census. “An accurate census report is very critical for the federal funding we receive from the federal government.”
A number of events and initiatives are planned for next year to promote participation in the Census. “Right now, we’re excited to be working together with our partners to make sure everyone is counted,” said Susan Eller, special projects coordinator for the Cullman Economic Development Agency.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funding allocated by the Legislature in the 2019-2020 Education Trust Fund Budget. ADECA acts as the state’s liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau and the lead state agency for 2020 Census outreach and preparation.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of what a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census means for Alabama. Those numbers have a direct impact on billions of dollars in funding that affect schools, community programs, health care, job opportunities and just about every other aspect of our state,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.
“Governor Ivey is absolutely correct about how important an accurate count is for Alabama, and thanks to the Legislature, ADECA is able to partner with entities across the state for education and outreach efforts to ensure that Alabama gets its fair share of funding and to help ensure fair representation for the state in the U.S. House of Representatives,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.