Census Day is April 1, and Homewood City Councilor Jennifer Andress is turning it into a friendly competition among four Over the Mountain cities.
In 2010, the census response rates for OTM cities were 74% for Homewood, 78% for Hoover, 84% for Mountain Brook and 81% for Vestavia Hills. Andress wants to see those rates rise.
The form takes only 10 minutes to complete, and participation will affect Alabama for the next 10 years and beyond. An accurate census count will help the state receive the funding it’s due for programs, including those that affect health care, education, housing assistance and infrastructure development, according to the Alabama Census website.
Andress also has the above four cities involved in a recycling challenge that kicked off in November with a goal to reduce contamination rates in the OTM area. The winning city of the recycling challenge gets to choose a charity to which the losing cities will make a donation.
Andress said only bragging rights are on the line for the Census Challenge.
People in Alabama will receive a notice in the mail about the 2020 Census beginning in mid-March. Once a person receives a notice, he or she can respond to the census online.
This year is the first time ever that the Census Bureau will accept responses online and by phone. People can still respond by mail if requested.
For more information, visit census.alabama.gov.
– Ingrid Schnader