Ivey awards $1 million to aid census in Alabama
On Monday, Governor Kay Ivey announced that 34 government agencies and organizations will receive a grant to help make the 2020 Census run smoothly in Alabama. The grants together total $1 million and were provided by the state legislature.
The Ivey administration is making it a priority to promote, educate and encourage participation among Alabamians. The 2020 Census begins in mid-March 2020. Every Alabama household address will receive an invitation to respond to the census.
“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,” Ivey said in a press release.
The 2020 Census has long been a point of focus for Ivey. She has been making public remarks about the census’ importance since at least the fall of 2017 and mentioned it in her inaugural address in January 2019.
Ivey said in August, “If we turn out at the rate we did in 2000, we will lose two congressional seats. If we turn out at the rate we did in 2010, we will lose one.”
ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell addressed the widespread speculation that Alabama will lose a congressional seat, saying the announced funds will “help ensure fair representation for the state in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
“I thank our legislators for allocating funds for these outreach efforts, and I also commend local leaders and organizations for being proactive in these efforts,” Ivey added in the press release.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will be 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.
Anyone wanting more information on the census in Alabama can visit www.census.alabama.gov.
The grants listed, as follows:
• Alabama Community College System – $80,052 to establish help centers on their campuses and adult education sites and conduct events to promote awareness and provide places to fill out the census.
• Alabama Possible – $40,000 to develop a statewide grassroots communication infrastructure to promote census participation.
• Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission – $12,616 for awareness activities in the Black Belt region.
• Aliceville Elementary School – $35,000 to raise census awareness to parents of students and residents in Pickens County.
• ARC of Madison County – $40,000 to focus efforts on reaching disabled residents statewide.
• Auburn University – Alabama Cooperative Extension System – $40,000 to conduct a statewide grassroots campaign through the county extension offices.
• Baldwin County Commission – $20,000 to work with partners to target hard-to-reach groups including the aging population, people with disabilities, young children and others within the county.
• Birmingham Public Library – $10,000 for programs and outreach initiatives to increase awareness and participation in the census.
• Black Belt Community Foundation – $40,000 to provide census awareness through training workshops and events in the organization’s 12-county service area.
• Blount County Economic Development Council – $35,000 for educational materials and interpreters to promote census to hard-to-reach residents in the county.
• Brundidge (city of) – $5,642 to provide advertising, banners, and signage to promote census participation to hard-to-reach populations.
• Bullock County Development Authority – $10,015 to conduct census events and promote census outreach via signage and direct mail.
• Coosa County Commission – $17,000 to reach hard-to-count populations with little to no internet access and minority populations.
• Cullman (city of) – $40,000 for the city to partner with more than 30 entities to promote census participation throughout Cullman County.
• Decatur (city of) – $5,500 to host community events that will promote census awareness.
• Elmore County Commission – $30,048 for a variety of events designed to increase census participation.
• Franklin County Commission – $40,000 for census outreach activities targeting hard-to-reach populations within the county.
• Foley (city of) – $10,000 for promotional items and to conduct events to further census awareness and participation.
• Greenville-Butler County Library – $32,650 to provide census education and technology assistance for residents to fill out the census.
• Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama – $40,000 to partner with other statewide organizations to raise census awareness to Hispanic and other immigrant communities.
• Houston County Commission – $3,860 to cover extended hours at area senior centers the week of the April 1st Census Day to help senior citizens fill out the census form.
• Ivy Foundation of Montgomery – $40,000 to assist and support the foundation’s partners with a statewide census awareness campaign and activities.
• Lowndes County Commission – $40,000 to enhance awareness in minority, low-income and low-education populations, along with those without internet access or transportation difficulties.
• Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments – $40,000 to use digital media, advertising and promotions to promote within the organization’s five-county coverage area in northwest Alabama.
• Opelika (city of) – $11,931 to promote census participation and implement two workstations to provide a place for residents to complete their census forms.
• Perry County Commission – $31,000 for advertising, social media and direct outreach to target messaging to hard-to-count populations.
• Saraland (city of) – $17,000 for education workshops and events, along with advertising and social media to increase census participation.
• Shelby County Commission – $22,686 to promote census awareness to hard-to-reach populations within the county.
• St. Clair County Commission – $10,000 to raise awareness and hold events that allow residents to fill out their census forms on site.
• Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments – $40,000 to conduct outreach efforts to the aging population in the organization’s five-county coverage area in northeast Alabama.
• Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center – $40,000 for outdoor media promotion and Census Day activities.
• United Way of Central Alabama – $40,000 to use community initiatives to increase the census self-response rate in the organization’s coverage area.
• VOICES for Alabama’s Children – $40,000 to address a previous undercount of children under five years of age.
• YMCA of Tuscaloosa – $40,000 for the Y on Wheels project to increase the self-response rates of hard-to-count communities in and around the city of Tuscaloosa and Tuscaloosa County.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.