The 2020 US Census kicks off March 12, and New Orleans officials hope to improve on 2010's low response rate.
The Census only takes place once every decade. The national headcount shapes political boundaries and determines how federal tax dollars are shared.
Governor John Bel Edwards held a press conference today in New Orleans East. Flanked by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, he stressed the stakes, saying, “It’s critical that we get a complete and accurate count of all of our people.”
Cantrell echoed that appeal, saying only 45 percent of New Orleanians responded to the Census back in 2010, leaving some $300 million on the table.
“We saw the decline in the resources that we are able to get for community development block grants, for early childhood education, for housing and neighborhood revitalization projects," she said, "and we also lost (political) representation."
She said the goal this time is to get 65 percent of New Orleanians to respond.
For the first time ever, the Census will be done online. Paper forms will still be available, or people can call a 1-800 number. Census workers will make home visits to remote areas.