Once every decade, the people who live in the United States of America have the opportunity to be counted. Why is this important? According to the Committee for Economic Development, the census information “determine our system of political representation, inform business development and investment, and allocate government funds to where they are most needed.”

In Alabama, every person’s chance of being counted is vital. Our state received almost $1600 person in federal funds – much more than we, the citizens of Alabama, paid to the federal government in federal taxes. The loss or decrease of these federal funds could adversely affect The United Way of Southwest Alabama’s 47 partner agencies in Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile and Washington Counties. If the federal funds decrease, we will have to make up for the decrease of federal monies through local donations. Donations have steadily decreased for the past 20 years, so the chances of making up for lost federal funds will be difficult. People in need will have fewer resources.

Secondly, Alabama stands to lose a Congressional seat. If we lose a seat, we lose representation in Washington. We will go from 7 seats in the House of Representatives to 6 seats. However, it means so much more than loss of representation. The State will have to redraw districts, which will cost money. In addition to those costs, lawsuits fighting the redistributing are surely to occur; possibly costing the citizens of Alabama millions of dollars that we don’t have and costing us money for needed services.

The Census 2020 takes 10 minutes to complete. Please do your part to ensure that Alabama does not have a decrease in numbers. Many lives in our four counties rely on the funding which supports our 47 partner agencies. You matter. You count.

To see more on why your answers matter, click here.