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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is April 9, 2020

Editorial

You can count on me

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

Within the next few weeks, we all will be invited to take part in the 2020 Census. The first notification will arrive in our mailboxes, sometime between March 12–20.

To make the process as convenient as possible, the U.S. Census Bureau will provide options to respond to the brief questionnaire online, by mail or by phone. Though, do note that if there is no reply in these manners, U.S. Census Bureau personnel will follow up in-person at your front door.

The Census, which takes place every 10 years, dates back to 1790 and was created by the federal government to meet certain needs of each state. The government is set to distribute more than $675 billion based on this Census data, so it is important for Mississippi, which has a population of nearly 3 million residents, to obtain the most accurate count possible.

These Census results, in fact, are particularly critical to our rural communities. For example, a state’s population determines local funding allocations for public resources such as education, healthcare and hospitals, police and fire departments as well as roads and highways. Clearly, these are important factors in which rural Mississippians are especially reliant upon in many ways.

To put this in another perspective, the upcoming 2020 Census will essentially determine many of the programs and services that will be federally supported in our state over the next 10 years. As I see it, it is our civic duty and responsibility to accommodate the U.S. Census Bureau in this massive effort as it has the incredible potential to better the lives of Mississippians over the next decade — and beyond.

As you can see, with full participation from residents across the state, we are positioned to significantly benefit from the information gathered during the 2020 Census. So, how can you help further? Consider forming a Census committee for your workplace, church or neighborhood to help promote awareness and boost responses!

Remember, be on the lookout for the official U.S. Census invitation that will be delivered to your mailbox this month. And please be assured that, by law, all information collected is confidential.

On behalf of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi, I invite you to join me in taking an active role in making sure all Mississippians are accounted for in the 2020 Census. You can count on me to be an active supporter of the 2020 Census. After all, our next 10 years depends on it.

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