Don’t let your money go somewhere else!

Marshall Rathmell |

Right now, a lot of people are focused on the federal government stimulus plan and how the funds may benefit them. It is important, but I am concerned that we are not as focused on another program that every American should be paying attention to.

Every 10 years the government does a census. The census decides how your federal tax dollars will be redistributed for the next 10 years!!!! In the 2010s states like Alabama lost out in a big way. Only 72% of Alabama’s population mailed in their census forms. That means our schools, roads and almost every federally funded program was undercut by almost 1 for every 3 Alabamians.

To prevent a repeat our state government created Alabama Counts. Leading up to the census that is starting NOW, Alabama has only invested 25 cents into Alabama Counts per citizen where the average state has invested $1.37 to get people to complete the census. Our future depends on a grass roots campaign to get people to complete their census.

What prevents us from getting a full count? Frankly, it is misunderstanding. The most common reason for an undercount is immigrants, minorities, and those that are financially challenged think they can get in trouble for completing the census. Example: What if my landlord finds out how many of us live in here? THIS IS COMPLETELY WRONG. As a matter of fact, if census data is shared with a landlord, local or federal authority outside of the census count, the person who gets in trouble is the person involved with the census that shared the information.

Our readers tend to be the citizens that feel comfortable completing the census, so what can we do to help?

  1. Share this on social media as much as possible.
  2. Share this in whatever means you have with people in the communities I mentioned above. One of the best ways to help them is to tell them the truth.
  3. Don’t throw your census in a mail pile and forget about it. Take a minute, complete it, and make sure you don’t accidentally undercount anyone.

-Marshall Rathmell-