Mayor Tony Kennon and the Orange Beach City Council proclaimed their partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau during the council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 to ensure a full and accurate count in 2020.
The proclamation reads as follows:
Whereas, every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau counts residents across the country, and the official deadline for residents to submit their Census 2020 form is April 1, 2020; and
Whereas, an accurate census count is vital to our community and residents’ well-being by helping planners determine where to locate schools, day care centers, roads and public transportation, hospitals and other facilities, and achieving an accurate and complete count of the nation’s growing and changing population; and
Whereas, more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to states, counties, and cities based, in part, on census data; and
Whereas, census data helps determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and often is used for the redistricting of state legislatures, county, and city councils and voting districts; and
Whereas, the 2020 Census creates jobs that stimulate economic growth and increase employment; and the information collected by the Census is confidential and protected by law under Title 13, U.S. Code; and
Now, therefore, be it proclaimed by the Orange Beach City Council and Mayor that the City of Orange Beach is committed to partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure a full and accurate count in 2020, and residents are strongly encouraged to participate in order to help the city receive state and federal benefits that are commensurate with the true population of Orange Beach.
Jean E. Hogue, U.S. Census representative for Baldwin and Escambia County, attended Tuesday’s meeting noting that the $400 billion per year in federal and state funding quoted in the proclamation has actually gone up to over $674 billion and said Alabama is in jeopardy of losing not just one but two U.S. House seats.
“That will be the least amount of representation that we’ve had since 1970,” Hogue said. “So it’s crucial that we have people in the community take the Census.”
Orange Beach, as well as other municipalities, has formed its own committee to help spread the word about Census participation.
Some Census workers are currently canvasing neighborhoods to verify addresses but the actually count will not begin until early in 2020 with a deadline of April 1, 2020 to submit census forms.