With the September 30th deadline for the U.S, census to be completed, Columbus officials are putting on a full-court press to get people counted.
Tuesday afternoon Mayor Skip Henderson and City Manager Isaiah Hugley were in Wilson Homes, going door to door.
City officials are doing everything they can to get people counted as the deadline rapidly approaches.
“There are people who think this doesn’t really impact them,” Henderson said. “It impacts them. It impacts every single person in this community whether they step up and get counted or not.”
Right now, Columbus is undercounted by thousands of people. It is a problem that could cost the city millions of dollars.
“Do the math, it’s probably around $1,500 a person a year,” Henderson said. “So if you are undercounted by 10,000 people. What’s that, $15 million you just left on the table?”
Some fear the under count could be more than that. And the numbers are not adding up in the city’s low-income areas. Hugley grew up in Columbus public housing. He says he doubted his household was ever counted.
“It places like Wilson Homes, Farley Homes, Chase Homes or Peabody or any of the others, there are so many people not getting counted. And you matter,” Hugley said.
And the census matters.
“It’s about money, reapportionment, representation,” Hugley said.
Federal money is used for a number of services, Henderson said.
“To provide food assistance.It is to provide medical assistance,” he said “It provides healthcare for children. It provides housing. It provides economic development, roads, It provides public transit. It touches everybody.