Only 40.7% of Greene County households have completed the Census Greene County’s Census response rate lags behind state and national rates

By John Zippert,
Co-Publisher
Greene County Democrat

According to the U.S. Census2020 website as of today, only 40.7% of the households in Greene County have responded to the Census, which counts the population of the entire country every ten years. The 40.7% rate for Greene County lags behind the national rate of 61.4% and the State of Alabama’s rate of 59.8%.
Marilyn Stephens, Assistant Regional Manager of the Atlanta Region, which includes the State of Alabama, said “ Take ten minutes today to help ensure benefits to your community for the next ten years!”
Stephens indicated that the coronavirus pandemic had delayed and interfered with some of the schedule for the Census, including house-to-house visits, but that the Census takers would soon be coming around.
In the meantime, Stephens suggested that those households that have not completed the 2020 Census, can call the toll free number: 1-844-330-2020 and answer the questions by phone. She said you can also use your cell phone, tablet or computer and go to: my2020Census.gov, and complete the Census online.
Those persons who never received, lost or misplaced the original communication from the Census, which had an identification number, can call in or report online based on their address. Stephens said, “Don’t worry about a deadline, for you the deadline is today, to complete your Census.”
Stephens said there are two main reasons, why Greene County residents should complete the Census, “First, the population count in the Census is used to determine the apportionment of districts for U. S. Congress, the state legislature and local electoral districts. So if you do not participate in the Census, your state, county and city may lose representation and a voice in making important policy decisions that will affect your life.

“Second, the Census count is used in distributing $675 Billion or more in Federal and state dollars each year for programs for healthcare, rural hospitals, school lunch programs, senior citizens meals, Headstart, Community Development Block Grants, SNAP, WIC and highway funds. If you do not report in the Census, you are shortchanging your community and your household from receiving a fair and adequate share of these benefits.”
Rev. Chris Spencer, with the Black Belt Community Foundation, says, “We must work to get every resident counted in the Census to assure that we get the benefits we need from Federal and state programs. Every church, housing development, and community organization needs to check its membership and help make sure that we get one hundred percent completion of the Census. 40% is a good start but we need to finish the job, we need everyone’s help.”
Carrie Fulghum, Manager of the Eutaw Elderly Village, a thirty unit elderly housing development in the city, with the help of Miriam Leftwitch, a board member, went door to door and helped every resident to complete the Census. “We gave each person, who completed the Census, a ticket in a raffle, and awarded a prize basket of supplies and snacks to the winner. This was a small incentive to help ensure that everyone in our housing community completed the Census. We challenge every other housing development in our city and county to do the same.”
Kinya Isaac, who is the Census Coordinator for Greene County, said, “When you talk with your friends and neighbors ask them if they have completed the Census and ask if you can assist them if they need help to call or get online.”
Marilyn Stephens, completed her interview by saying,” I want people to know that the Census is safe. By law, you are protected from any of your personal information being released or used against you. We do not publish any information on individuals just aggregated data for an area”

Annual Industry Appreciation luncheon provides information on workforce training and the 2020 Census

Kinya Isaac standing speaking about Census 2020 and Scarlet Pearce, Demoplis Career Center seated both spoke at GCIDA Annual Business and Industry Appreciation Luncheon.

The Greene County Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA) held its Annual Business and Industry Appreciation luncheon, last Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at Ruby’s Restaurant in Eutaw.
Phillis Belcher, GCIDA Executive Director said, “We hold this annual event to honor our existing industries and major employers in Greene County. The GCIDA sees its mission as serving existing business to improve their operations and helping to attract and develop new industries and businesses to start operations in our area.”
The crowd of about 40 people heard from two valuable luncheon speakers who brought relevant information on topics of interest to business and community leaders.Scarlet Pearce of the Demopolis Career Center, which is part of the national and state Department of Labor, spoke of opportunities provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the nation’s workforce training legislation.
“Employers can seeking on-the-job training support, workforce training positions, apprenticeship opportunities by contacting the Alabama Career Center. We are in Workforce Region 3, which covers much of the Alabama Black Belt area. We have a budget of $6 million dollars annually for workforce development initiatives,” said Pearce.
“People looking for work or education and training to upgrade their work skills should visit the Career Center at 1074 Bailey Drive in Demopolis, Alabama, to get information, advice and assistance in seeking employment,” said Pearce.
Kinya Isaac, regional representative for the 2020 U. S. Census in Greene, Sumter and Pickens counties, spoke about the upcoming U. S. Census to be held 0n April 1, 2020. “We need to be sure to count every single person in the Census. The population count by the Census will determine allocation of many Federal and state resources. The Census will also be used to reapportion voters in Congressional and Legislative Districts for the coming decade. Alabama could possibly loose one of its seven Congressional seats if all the people are not counted in this upcoming Census,” said Isaac.
Issac pointed out that sections of Greene County are shown on the Census map as having an under-count in the 2010 Census. “We need to be sure to count everyone, especially people who live in these areas for the 2020 Census. Any assistance that businesses and industries can provide would help Greene County overall,” said Isaac.
Danny Cooper, Chair of the GCIDA thanked people for attending the luncheon and encouraged them to seek assistance from the GCIDA when they needed help in starting or expanding their businesses. The GCIDA office is located on the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square, in a building across from City Hall. The phone number is 205-372-9769.

Bingo facilties contribute $367,705 to local entities for December

Shown above Forkland Town Clerk, Kinya Isaac, Eutaw Chief of Police Derick Coleman, Greene County Superintendent Dr. James Carter, Sr. Greene County Heath System CEO Dr. Marcia Pugh, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Boligee City Councilwoman Ernestine Wade, Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd, Brenda Burke with the Greene County Commission and Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Greene County Sheriff Department reported a total distribution of $367,705 for the month of December from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of December, 2018.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,375 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $13,375.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.