Parish committee to publicize Census

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 1999

VIDALIA, La. — Next month, a committee of Concordia Parish residents will begin to publicize the importance of being counted in the 2000 Census.

The 13-member committee, which was appointed by the Concordia Parish Police Jury earlier this month, will also assist with publicizing the availability of census jobs, Kris Hickman, community partnership specialist for the Census Bureau.

Census questionnaires will be delivered to each household in March 2000.

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Accurately counting the parish’s population is important since many government grants for such things as education, public works and health and welfare are based on population.

&uot;Our community’s political representation in the U.S. Congress and in the State Legislature rest on census population totals,&uot; said Police Jury President Fred Falkenheiner.

&uot;(And) large amounts of Federal funds are returned to Concordia Parish each year based on census statistics,&uot;&160;he added. &uot;If everyone is not counted, it means our community may be shortchanged and we will not receive our fair share of these funds.&uot;

In the last 10 years, Concordia Parish lost about $642,000 in government funds because its population was undercounted during the 1990 Census.

The Complete Count Committee held its first meeting this month and will hold another meeting in early January to brainstorm better ways to publicize the importance of being counted in the census, said Kathleen Stevens, the committee’s secretary.

Members will be endorsing public cooperation with the census at every opportunity, including posting census flyers and assisting with recruitment for census jobs, Hickman said. Members will also stress that information given to the census is confidential, she said.