During the 2000 census, Georgia was undercounted by 122,000 people. This is equivalent to the city of Athens, Georgia. More locally, this is equivalent to the entire counties of Chattooga and Floyd and the southern rural part of Walker County. You should receive your census questionnaire by mail in March. If you do not receive a questionnaire, you will be able to pick one up from several public sites. Households should complete and mail back questionnaires upon receipt. Households that do not respond may receive a replacement questionnaire in early April. Census takers will visit homes that do not return questionnaires to take a count in person. The 2010 questionnaire consists of 10 short questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Households are asked to provide key demographic information, including: whether a housing unit is rented or owned; address of the residence; and the names, genders, ages and races of others living in the household. Federal law prohibits the sharing of information from the Census with any other organization or agency, so your information is secure. In 2000, the response rate or returned forms was 67% statewide. Chattooga County’s response rate was 58% with Floyd County at 60%. The response rate in rural areas across the state is lower than in metro areas. As a result, our rural areas may not receive their fair share of federal funding. The state Complete Count Committee hopes to increase the response to 70% by educating the public on the importance of the census. Local Complete Count Committees are working with news media and businesses to publicize the need for returning census forms. March 8-14 is Census Awareness Week with April 1 being the official count day. I encourage everyone to participate in the 2010 Census. It is critically important and only takes a few minutes. For more information, please visit www.2010census.gov.
Rep. Reece may be reached at 404-656-7859 or email@example.com. Rep. Reece serves on the Education Committee, State Institutions and Properties Committee, Science and Technology Committee, and the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee. She is also Secretary of the Rural Caucus.