This year has been one to remember.
And it isn’t over.
The national election is in 68 days. Early voting is roughly two months away.
While residents of the “divisive” country we currently live in today continue to squabble about our next president, there is another topic that has been put on the back burner - the US Census.
It’s just as important - not only for each state, but each community as well.
North Carolina’s current Census 2020 response lags behind 2010, and that’s not good.
As of Aug. 18, nearly three in every five households either responded to the census online, by mail or by phone. Yet, our state is 4 percent under the national average.
Locally, neither Wayne County nor Duplin County is not projected to pass its 2010 response.
More than $16 billion in federal funds are dispersed each year depending on census information. And it helps determine political representation for North Carolinians.
The census factors into establishing boundaries for school and voting districts. It provides much-needed documentation for school improvements, road construction, health care, emergency response and other services that impact our community.
North Carolina, which has 80 rural counties, could lose more than $4 billion over the next decade due to incomplete data that affects funding, planning and services.
Local governments, businesses, schools, tribes, community organizations, faith-based groups and individuals all have a role to play in making the US Census a success for the Old North State.
The cost of an undercount is too great to ignore.
Please make your voice heard.
Fill out your US Census today. Your future and your children’s future depends on it.
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.