BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – The tally that determines how much federal money Louisiana gets for healthcare, social services, highways and education each year for the next ten years is counting on you.
“An opportunity for our city and our people to get her fair share and get their fair share.”
When the US Census last made its count ten years ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had still displaced many Louisianians who would have otherwise been tallied back then.
In 2010, just forty-eight percent of New Orleans partook in the census.
In Baton Rouge… seventy percent… also below average. But now, elected leaders cheer it’s time again to have a say.
“If we’re not counted our federal tax dollars are going to go to other states while we go without. That’s in no one’s best interest”
Today Louisiana averages 15 billion dollars a year in federal funds. But that’s largely based on 2010 stats. Governor John Bel Edwards is forming a twenty-one-person group of civic leaders to make sure what the state gets reflects how many people actually live here.
“They may be homeless, they may be poor. They may move frequently. That’s why we have to do everything we can to get all of these hard to count people counted.”
That includes filling census responses online a first for the census bureau.
“There are dollars that we are leaving on the table and dollars we once had that we do not have right now.”
Most residents should get information on how to complete census forms by March. If they don’t respond they’ll get a paper questionnaire later this spring. Those who don’t file by August will get visits from census workers in the summer.
“This is going to be the process. Stop a mama, talk to the baby, say did you get counted. It’s the interaction.”
State lawmakers will use the findings to tweak legislative maps in the coming years.