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Initial meeting for Marlboro Complete Count Committee held

  • 30 January 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
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Between March 12-20, every home in this country will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.
To encourage residents to respond in the upcoming census, various community leaders, volunteers and others are working to form their own Complete Count Committee for the 2020 census in the county.
Pearlie Lawson, president of the Marlboro County Branch of the NAACP, hoped the community would grow and they would be able to get the word out about how important the census is in 2020.
The goal is to change the 69 percent response rate in 2010 to 75-85 percent in 2020.
Doris Green, SC Partnership specialist for the U.S. Census, did the training for the committee.
She said she didn’t really understand how important the census was to communities and states until she started working for the U.S. Census Bureau.
The census is mandated in the US Constitution to be taken every 10 years. The first one was performed in 1790 by the U.S. Marshals, who rode on horseback.
The 2020 Census data will be used to guide the distribution of approximately $675 billion of federal funds and grants for schools, hospitals, roads, and public works projects.
Locally, the data will be important for helping businesses, schools, and the county, city and towns make decisions about how to invest resources to most effectively serve the public.
Members of the Complete County Committees are considered ambassadors to help educate people about the census and motivate them to participate.
“You are the trusted voices,” Green said. “You are the ones people will listen to.”
Green said census counts all residents, regardless of citizenship.
“We count everybody,” she said. “You don’t have to be a citizen to be counted.”
The information provided to the census-takers is confidential. Federal law protects census responses. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics.
By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your information with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies.
The personal census information will not be released for 72 years, only the compiled data will be available.
After each census, state officials use the results to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative districts, adapting to population shifts.
For example, the results are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. In 2010, South Carolina gained a seat.
“We are all worth dollars,” Green said. “If you don’t fill it out, you will be invisible for 10 years. Filling out the census is a civic responsibility.”

What to Expect
In mid-March, every household in the United States will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. There will be a unique code on the postcard, and you must use this code to complete your questionnaire.
This year, you can respond online or by phone. If you do not respond by April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau will send you a paper form. If you still don’t respond, a census taker will knock on your door.
For more information about the 2020 Census, visit www.2020census.gov.
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