Lt. Gov. Pamela S. Evette wanted everyone to know that the census affects all of our lives.
“Every county in South Carolina needs to be counted,” she said.
Evette spoke during the Marlboro County Census Call to Action community meeting Monday at the Bennettsville Community Center.
South Carolina is 39th in the country for its response to the 2020 Census.
“Most of our programs are federally funded,” Evette said.
Her goal was for 10,000 South Carolina households to complete the census during Wednesday’s South Carolina Census Day of Action.
This would represent an approximate two-percent increase in the state’s census response.
On Wednesday, volunteers were all over the county at locations encouraging people to complete their 2020 Census.
Everett noted everyone would have to live with the consequences of these numbers for the next 10-years especially when we are making important changes in our state with broadband, roads, schools, and healthcare.
A complete count of S.C. residents will drive local funding allocations for schools, healthcare, disaster response, and more than 50 other federal programs for the next 10 years.
“Money for the census affects all of our lives,” Evette said.
Also on Wednesday, state agencies, local governments, and over 200 nonprofit organizations are working together to encourage South Carolinians to respond to the census. Statewide, communities are holding events including census drive-thrus, raffles, and social media challenges to raise census response rates.
Pearlie Lawson, the coordinator of the Marlboro Complete Census Committee, said she works to increase the completion number in the county.
Her goal for completion is 80 percent.
Completing the census takes less than 10 minutes and can be done on my2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020. The last day for census self-response is October 31, 2020.
A brief remembrance was held for the nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, who were murdered after a Bible study class on June 17, 2015.
— Rep. Pat Henegan read the names of the nine and had a moment of silence.
— Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41, who was pastor at Mother Emanuel and S.C. state senator.
— Tywanza Sanders, 26, Bible study member and grandnephew of Susie Jackson.
— Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45, was a track and field coach.
— Myra Thompson, 59, was the wife of Rev. Anthony Thompson and a Bible study teacher.
— Cynthia Graham Hurd, 54, worked for the Charleston County Public Library system for 31 years.
—Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74, was a ministerial staff member at Mother Emanuel and also at Greater Zion AME in Awendaw.
— Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, was a pastor and school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University.
— Ethel Lance, 70, worked at the church for over 30 years.
— Susie Jackson, 87, was a longtime church member.
The nine were killed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old avowed white supremacist. He was sentenced to death on Jan. 10, 2017, and life in prison without parole on April 10, 2017.