ZANESVILLE – The U.S. Census Bureau is putting its focus on Southeast Ohio residents.
Different partners including Ohio University’s Center for Campus Community Engagement and the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council hired a communications and advocacy firm named Sunday Creek Horizons to create campaigns, like online ads to reach people in Southeast Ohio and encourage them to participate in the census.
The firm has been working with Zanesville Mayor Don Mason to help him relay the message in Zanesville.
“The important thing about filling out the census is it helps you get money for the next ten years. If you care about children and I really hope we all care about children, we have to understand that a lot of programs such as Head Start, you school funded breakfast and lunch, your Title 1 funds, all are based on filling out the census so we have an adequate and accurate reporting of all those,” Mason said.
Mason says that the response rate in Zanesville has been fair with some parts of the community as high as 70 percent of people who have reported. Not filling out the census has more of an adverse effect than people may think. Every Ohioan who fails to respond costs the region and state an excess of $1,000 per year in federal funding.
“I have to think with COVID 19 funding, that number has got to be 2 to 3 times that because, again, those monies are being assigned just based on rough numbers on who reported in 2010. That means are numbers are off now. So, yeah, I would say anywhere from 1 to 3 thousand dollars would be missed if you fail to report and that’s based on the fact that the federal government is putting so much money out to fight COVID,” Mason said.
Mason reminds residents that it takes a very short amount of time to report for the census and the process is easy and non-intrusive.