The 2020 Census is coming in April. Vigo County officials are working extremely hard to alleviate any fears or concerns about the population count.
County leaders are placing a huge emphasis on the importance of complete counts. Executive Director of the West Central Indiana Economic Development District Ryan Keller explained that some changes are taking place in how the census information will be put out locally.
Keller’s agency was acting as a regional guide to promote the census and educate the six counties they cover. He says census officials have done an excellent job canvasing the area and working with local governments.
Simply, there was no need for a complete regional count committee as previously planned. Now there’s a more collaborative approach underway to reach people.
County Commissioner Brendan Kearns is focusing on Vigo County. He says Vigo County’s population is declining, so this gives them a chance to know what to prioritize.
“The focus for me, and the other commissioners too, is improving rural areas,” Kearns said.
“It really takes all of us working together doing our part to make West Central Indiana a better place to live,” Ryan Keller noted.
Both have stressed that the census determines the amount of state and federal funding for our area. It also determines congressional representation.
The six counties that the West Central Indiana Economic Development District covers are Vigo, Vermillion, Sullivan, Parke, Sullivan, Clay, and Putnam Counties. All six of those counties had over 75% participation in the last census in 2010.
Both Keller and Kearns stressed the importance of working together to beat those numbers and addressed next steps in census outreach for 2020.
Commissioner Kearns says he is organizing a group of people interested in helping out for Vigo County. They will attend the Census Summit meeting on February 12th. This is a region wide informational meeting providing education on how important the census is for the Wabash Valley.
The commissioner’s office will launch a social media campaign as well. This is to stress the importance of the census specific to Vigo County.
Both Keller and Kearns want people to completely understand why the census is vital to the health of the Wabash Valley.
“The census impacts everyone in West Central Indiana on all fronts,” Keller exclaimed.
“This is a great opportunity for people to get involved in the community,” Kearns agreed, “To get involved in not so much government, but the quality of life, quality of place, and community initiatives and then we can move forward.”
The Census Summit meeting will take place at the Meadows Shopping Center Conference Center from 10 AM to noon on February 12th. Keller and Kearns encourage everyone to attend so all can be on the same page come April 1st.