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'Stand up and be counted,' a new effort to boost the state's

'Stand up and be counted,' a new effort to boost the state's headcount
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Census letter to citizens
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Members of a new statewide committee are wanting you and your family to be counted in the 2020 census. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Governor Phil Bryant is signing an executive order to establish a new effort aimed at increasing the number of Mississippians counted in the 2020 census. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the nation gets one chance every ten years to count it's population. Bryant says this new effort is important because participation in the census could determine what portion of the federal government's 675 billion dollar budget could come to Mississippi.

"This is how we go about determining what federal funds will go to a state. How many congressmen or women you will have. How much funding for infrastructure, for education in the state, for public healthcare needs so it is critically important that we get everyone counted," said Bryant.

The "Complete Count Committee" is comprised of local and state officials.Giles Ward of Louisville is chairman of the committee. He says there will be subcommittees with representatives based in communities all over the state. He says despite how some may feel, there is no downside to participating in the census.

"There is a certain amount of cynicism that just follows sometime federal and state government programs. It's not anything we can do about it except to acknowledge that that exists out there but our job is going to be to let these individuals know there is no risk," said Ward.

Ward says Mississippians will start receiving postcards in the mail with more information on how to get counted. The date for responses to the 2020 Census is April 1. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.