In an effort to ensure that the residents of Duval County are counted as the national 2020 Census begins, state Senator Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) on Tuesday announced that she has formed a local “Complete Count Committee” to help in the outreach efforts.
“Our ‘We Count’ committee will be ambassadors in the community,” said Senator Gibson. “In churches, and neighborhoods, and in community centers, we will reach out to residents across Duval County, and particularly in Senate District 6, to make sure that everyone understands how important it is to be a part of the 2020 Census.”
Organized once ever ten years, the national census is critical in gathering the information used to determine political representation in Congress, allocating government funds based on where the need is greatest, and even guiding business leaders in their development and investment decisions.
Yet from 2000 to 2010, Duval, was one of several larger Florida counties, including Orange and Osceola, where the census participation rate actually dropped. So, too, did the participation rates in some of the more rural counties, such as Columbia, Taylor, and Baker.
“If we aren’t counted, we lose millions of dollars and representation,” said Senator Gibson. “’We Count’ is on a mission to educate, inform, and engage our residents so that everyone benefits.”
Senator Gibson’s “We Count” committee consists of policy makers, clergy, advocacy groups, and union retirees. The group’s outreach will begin in advance of the 2020 Census, which is expected to get underway next month and initially be web-based.