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”

Newswire : House passes tax bill raising deficit by $1.7 trillion

Terri_Sewell,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress
Congresswoman Terri Sewell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed Republican tax legislation, which will add $1.7 trillion to the national debt according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. Analysis by the Tax Policy Center shows that 36 million middle-class and working families, or more than one out of every four taxpayers nationally, will experience a tax increase under the tax bill by 2027.

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) releases the following statement:

“The Republican tax bill which passed the House today is nothing more than a giveaway for corporate special interests at the expense of America’s working families,” said Rep. Sewell. “By eliminating popular deductions like the student loan interest deduction and the medical expense deduction and by limiting mortgage interest deductions for homeowners, this bill betrays our middle-class families. This legislation pays for unsustainable tax breaks by erasing proven economic incentives that distressed communities rely on, like the New Market Tax Credit, the historic tax credit, private activity bonds, and bond provisions that cities and municipalities rely on to fund the construction of public projects.

Our tax code is a reflection of our values, but this legislation values special interests over the economic interests of our constituents. This will add $1.7 trillion to the deficit which is likely to result in massive cuts to programs like Medicare, SNAP, and Social Security. While today’s bill is a raw deal for Alabama’s working families, I will continue fighting for real tax reform that benefits all Americans.”

During the markup of the Republican tax bill in the Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Sewell offered three historically bipartisan amendments. All Democratic amendments, including the three amendments offered by Rep. Sewell, were rejected without a single Republican vote.