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Probate Judge encourages 2020 Census participation

The 2020 Census is fast approaching, Census Day is April 1 and since January, officials have been using their public platforms to stress its importance including the Dallas County School Board, Selma City School Board, Dallas County Commission and Selma City Council.

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL, spoke about the importance of the 2020 Census at a town hall held at Vaughan Regional Medical Center (VRMC).

“Every person has a dollar tag stuck to them,” said the congresswoman on Tuesday.

Alabama collects $13 billion to $16 billion annually from the federal government and the census determines how and where that money is spent.

According to an informational packet provided by the U.S. Census, census data is used in decision making at all levels of government; drawing federal, state and local legislative districts; attracting new businesses to state and local areas; distributing billions in federal funds and even more in state funds; planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and the location of other health services; directing funds for people in poverty; Development of rural areas; designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly and children; reappointing seats within the House of Representatives; planning budgets for all levels of government and researching historical subject areas, among several others.

Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn says he has been doing his part as a leader in Dallas County to inform the public of the importance of this census.

“It’s very important that everyone complete the census form,” said the Probate Judge. “Everyone needs to participate. There is a lot at stake.”

Nunn said that the census data plays a key role in determining funding for Dallas County’s roads streets and schools.

Based upon previous Census Data, Dallas County’s participation is low.

Nunn said the low participation is likely due to people believing the census is a breach of privacy-according to Nunn and Title 13 of the U.S. Code, there is nothing for citizens to fear.

“All of the information is confidential,” said Nunn. “And the questions are very general.” Title 13 states that the Census Bureau cannot release and identifiable information about individuals, households or business, even to law enforcement agencies.

“The Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your information,” said Nunn.