By Marshall A. Latimore
The U.S. Constitution mandates every person living in the United States be counted every 10 years. This includes all ages, races, ethnic groups and citizenship status, including non-citizens.
An accurate count is critical to ensure Atlanta receives its fair share of public resources to support everything from Head Start to public transportation.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launched ATL Counts Census 2020 – a year-long effort to educate and mobilize Atlanta residents for the upcoming decennial Census.
This citywide campaign has an aggressive mission to reach, teach and count every person living in the City of Atlanta, she explained.
“This is more than just a count,” Bottoms said. “The Census is about the representation of each resident and ensuring our communities are reflective of the Atlanta we see every day.
We have put together a team that represents the diversity of all Atlantans to ensure no one is left behind. I am confident that with everyone working together, we can get to an accurate count.”
Congressman John Lewis will join Mayor Bottoms to serve as Co-Chair of ATL Counts and help lead a diverse group of corporate and civic partners who have been identified to serve on the Atlanta Complete Count Committee.
This group, in coordination with the U.S. Census Bureau, will implement a strategic action plan to ensure the city’s most difficult-to-reach populations are counted – an aggressive 80% Census form return goal has been set.
“An accurate census count is very important to the future of Atlanta,” Lewis said. “Census information is used to determine how much the federal government will contribute to the city’s efforts to build better roads, better schools, better transportation, fund food assistance programs, fire management programs, small business development programs and much, much more.
“I applaud the Mayor for working to ensure that the federal government gets this done in our city and get this done right,” Lewis added.
The ATL Counts Census 2020 campaign headquarters will be located at Dunbar Recreation Center (477 Windsor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30312), in the heart of the Mechanicsville community.
A number of transportation options have been made available for accessing the community-based center, including free parking on-site. Volunteer opportunities are available.
Atlanta Complete Count Committee Members include:
• James Alexander, Mercy Housing
• Chris Bauman, SEIU
• Randy Beall, North Georgia Building Trades
• Mark Becker, Georgia State University
• Andrea Boone, Atlanta City Council
• Preston Brant, Office of Human Services
• Helen Butler, Coalition for the People’s Agenda
• Kimberlyn Daniels, WorkSource Atlanta
• Nancy Flake-Johnson, Urban League of Greater Atlanta
• Chris Gilmore, Emerging 100
• Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO and GA Latino CCC
• Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality
• Howard Grant, Atlanta Housing
• John Haupert, Grady Hospital
• William Hawthorne, Mayor’s Office of Equity
• Denise Hendricks, Headline News
• Doug Hertz, Atlanta Committee for Progress
• Rev. Bettye Holland Williams, Concerned Black Clergy
• Raphael Holloway, Gateway 24/7
• Alvin Huntspon, Lost N Found Youth
• Tim Keane, Planning Department
• John Lewis, US Congressman
• Rohit Malhotra, Center for Civic Innovation
• Michelle Maziar, Welcoming Atlanta
• Dr. Margaret Mckenzie, Atlanta Public Schools
• Erika Mitchell, Atlanta School Board
• Eduardo Munoz, Atlanta Youth Representative
• Amol Naik, Mayor’s Office of Resilience
• Elizabeth Omilami, Hosea Feed the Hungry
• Jeff Parker, MARTA
• Alicia Phillip, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta
• Terry Ross, Community Representative
• Dr. Victoria Seals, Atlanta Technical College
• Joyce Sheperd, Atlanta City Council
• Doug Shipman, Woodruff Arts Center
• Nathaniel Smith, Partnership for Southern Equity
• Mohammad Tomeh, Al Farooq Masjid of Atlanta
• Anibal Torres, Latin American Association
• Sara Totonchi, Southern Center for Human Rights
• Tene Traylor, Kendeda Fund
• Charnette Trimble, Community Representative
• Jackie Watson, Caribbean American Chamber
• Dov Wilker, American Jewish Committee
• Phillana Williams, Office of Entertainment
• Marilyn Winn, Women on the Rise
• Chaka Zulu, Celebrity & Entertainment
For more information about ATL Counts Census 2020, visit www.ATLCounts.org.
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice.