Altus citizens work hard to make Altus a thriving community. We want Altus to COUNT—count for Altus Air Force Base, count for our children’s futures, and count for the quality of life for our citizens. Beginning March 12, Oklahomans will be receiving census packets from the US Census Bureau. It is our time to be COUNTED! During the 2010 Census only 70-73% of our households in Jackson County were counted. For each individual that is not counted, we leave approximately $1,675 on the table each year. An average family of four that is not counted this year will not be counted again for 10 years—a total lost revenue of $67,000 to our state for that time period. Federal funds support all types of government services, such as infrastructure, health, social welfare, and education. The Census data is also used for economic development, determining political representation, and for grants for our cities, schools, and college.
Filling out the Census information is as easy as one, two, or three. One—go online with the code provided and answer the eight questions; two—request the traditional pencil/paper packet which will be sent to you to fill out.three—call the number provided and your answers will be captured by phone. Telephone assistance and the online Census questionnaire will be available in 13 languages.
The Census Bureau is legally bound to handle all data confidentially, and answers are not shared with anyone – not the FBI, IRS, ICE or any other agency.
I urge each of you to immediately take your packet and complete it then ask your neighbors, your family, your friends, and your co-workers if they have completed theirs. Explain the importance of it to our city and our state. Altus will declare April 1 as Census Day with some businesses, churches, our public library, schools, Southwest Technology Center, and Western Oklahoma State College providing free Wi-Fi space and assistance for completing the online Census.
I believe in this quote by Jane Goodall, “The greatest danger to our world is apathy.” We can’t sit back and let the rest of our state be counted and Altus not be. It’s time to COUNT Altus—our future depends on it.