FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — It’s the beginning of a new decade and that means it’s time to be counted.
The U.S. census, conducted every ten years, determines the representation states have in the U.S. House of Representatives and the amount of federal funding each state will receive.
West Virginia, for instance, is experiencing stagnant population growth and will lose a seat in Congress by 2022.
But states like Maryland are aggressively marketing participation in the census since it stands to pull down $26 billion in federal funding based on population estimates. That’s about $1,800 per resident, or over the next ten years, more than $18,000.
The Frederick County United Way is promoting census participation. With an influx of immigrant labor in the county, Malcom Furgol is coordinating a campaign to deliver an accurate count. He wants to assure non-citizens their status will not be reported to immigration authorities and it is important they complete a census form online, by paper — even by phone if they choose that option.
Shantel Hinds is a Hood College student in Frederick who is working on the census drive. She is driven by the stake Frederick County has in funding programs which serve the community.
The state of Maryland is putting its muscle behind the census drive. Localities will be awarded grants in April to drive maximum participation in the census count.