The office of Gov. Kay Ivey issued this press release Monday:
With the 2020 Census drawing closer, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is seeking public input for a grant program to assist with local outreach efforts.
Alabama’s goal for the 2020 Census is to obtain high participation in every Alabama community, municipality and county. ADECA issued the Request for Information related to $1 million in funding allocated to the agency in the 2020 Education Trust Fund budget for the 2020 Census Grant Program. The RFI is available on the ADECA website. The public comments about the grant program will be accepted in writing until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 12, 2019.
“The 2020 Census will play a major role in shaping our state’s future, so it is critical that we do everything we can to educate all of our residents about the importance of participation and motivate them to complete and submit their census forms in March and April 2020,” Governor Ivey said. “Efforts by local and grassroots organizations will be critical to this goal, and I am pleased that the Legislature allocated funds to assist these efforts. I invite your input as we take the first step toward success of this grant program.”
Governor Ivey designated ADECA as the lead state agency for 2020 Census outreach in Alabama. For the past several months, ADECA has led the Alabama Counts! 2020 CensusInitiative. The one-time grant funding is to be expended by ADECA, in coordination with the State Department of Education, to assist local community outreach efforts designed to encourage Alabama residents to complete the 2020 Census count. All grants will be awarded by December 31 in preparation for the census count in March and April 2020.
After the public comment period, ADECA will work to design the full process and establish deadlines for this grant program which will provide funding assistance to help with local, grassroots outreach efforts, specifically those in hard-to-count areas and groups. The agency will host a grant application workshop once all the procedures are in place and applications are ready to be accepted.
“Local and community leaders are trusted voices that will ultimately lead to a successful 2020 Census for Alabama, and we need to hear your voices as we design this grant program,” Kenneth Boswell, director of ADECA and chairman of the Alabama Counts 2020 Census Committee, said. “ADECA and Alabama Counts will work hard to ensure that this funding is put to the best possible use to assist local efforts as they complement our statewide efforts with Alabama Counts.”
The stakes are high for Alabama in 2020. Every Alabamian directly benefits from the federal programs with funding allocations that are determined in part by census data. Completing acensus form will help ensure that Alabama receives its fair share of funding. The federal government also will use 2020 Census data to allocate the nation’s congressional seats. Many projections currently have Alabama at-risk of losing one of its seven congressional seats.
Governor Ivey established the Alabama Counts 2020 Census Committee and its subcommittees in August 2018 as a nonpartisan advisory group made up of leaders in education, rural communities, faith-based organizations, business and industry, community-based groups, health care agencies and governments with the intention of reaching all sectors of Alabama to encourage census participation.
More information about Alabama Counts and the 2020 Census is available at: www.census.alabama.gov.