The board of supervisors met with the county’s 2020 census chairman John Allmond Oct. 11 to discuss preliminary plans to ensure an accurate population count next year, which equates to a number of factors such as available funding and local- and state-level government representation.

“The board [of supervisors] that’s sitting the next term, don’t think this is not going to affect you. The trend we’ve got, you’ve got some real issues to live with, so getting these people to help is really important,” said board president Billy Kirkpatrick.

He said with the 2010 census, supervisor District 5 didn’t have much change, but if there’s a change with one district, there’s usually changes with all of them.

U.S. census day will be April 1, 2020, and it will be conducted mostly online and also by telephone and by mail. It’s unsure when the window for people to enter census information will begin next year, but the bulk of the county complete committee’s push to the public will begin close to that time.

“I think it’s getting people to understand the needs, number one, of how it’s going to impact Monroe County. We’re not looking to arrest you for anything or find warrants. It’s strictly so we can advance Monroe County,” Allmond said.

Supervisors are submitting names of the complete count committee, which will brainstorm ways to spread the word of how important the census is.

“My plan is to sit down with the people you’ve provided me and then basically rely on churches and schools to push this forward. Everything, to my understanding, is going online and so between the churches and schools, I think we will cover the bulk,” Allmond said. “The big thing with this committee is to pinpoint all the churches in the communities and set up a meeting with each of them and ask them to have at least one day to open it up to their community and their church to assist in people filling out the census.”

He also suggested utilizing libraries and places with higher influxes of people.

Allmond also suggested census nights at the schools that would follow the same models as their accelerated reader nights.

Other methods of communicating the need for census participation included newspaper and radio public service announcements, Facebook, church bulletins and the county’s CodeRED alert system.

District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan asked how long the process of filling out the census is, and Allmond said it’s filling in basic information such as the number of people in a household and household income that won’t take long to complete.

“People are so Gung ho the government will deceive you that they don’t want to share their information. To a certain extent, they just don’t trust them so they say, ‘Well, I just won’t give it out.’ You see everything that goes on on TV, and it makes it even worse,” Bogan said.

During the workshop, the board adopted a proclamation regarding the county’s complete count committee.

Separate from the county-led work, people are needed to fill temporary jobs regarding the census. According to the 2020 census website, the pay rate per hour for Monroe County is $13.50. Anyone interested in applying may call 1-855-JOB-2020 or visit www.2020census.gov/jobs.

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