Committee seeking ways to improve census count

Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt recently declared April 1 as Sumner County Census Day. Pictured (l-r) are Kim Ark, Jaime Muncy, Anthony Holt, Crystal Boyett (U.S. Census Bureau, partnership specialist) and Caitlin Tran. SUBMITTED 

Sumner County is actively preparing for the 2020 United States Census beginning with County Executive Anthony Holt declaring April 1Census Day.

 

Since that time a Census Complete Count Committee has been formed including representatives from all over the county. That committee has been meeting monthly to learn how to reach all the people during the upcoming census. The committee is representative of all citizens in Sumner County including representatives from each city.

 

Holt said in a press release that an accurate census count is important to the county because federal and state funding is allocated to states and communities based on the data collected. Participation from citizens is imperative for the sustainability of critical programs within the community. 

 

The census results are used to reapportion the United States House of Representatives to determine how many seats each state gets. State officials use the results of the census to redraw the boundaries of each of the congressional and state legislative districts to adjust to population changes.

 

The committee is brainstorming ways to get the word out about the census. The members are developing “areas of focus” with members of the committee choosing the area they feel they have the most expertise. Some of the areas of focus are: ages 18-24, ages 0-5 and the international community. These areas were chosen because they are the most under-reported communities.

 

The members have been given an online tool kit which is a guide to outreach efforts. Special efforts will be made to reach under-reporting communities from past census counts.

 

The committee is relying on the successful experience the City of Gallatin had in getting their 2016 Census certified. Rosemary Bates addressed the committee at the May 21 meeting. Their example and advice will be valuable to the committee.

 

Committee Chairman Caitlin Tran said, “The goal of our Complete Count Committee is to educate our citizens about the importance of filling out their census form. We want to stress to them that the information they provide is confidential and cannot be used against them in any way. We want Sumner County to get our fair share of federal and state monies so our citizens receive the services they need and deserve.  We are counting on you to make Sumner County count.”

 

The next committee meeting will be July 23, at 1:30 p.m.

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