Tennessee governor encourages participation in Census

Published 8:02 am Friday, January 31, 2020

MEMPHIS (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee is encouraging all Tennessee residents to participate in the U.S. Census in a new public service announcement.

Lee’s message was shown Wednesday during the public opening of the Census’ office in Memphis. It debuted earlier this week at Census events in Knoxville and Nashville, and it is now available on the Internet, officials said.

The Republican governor stressed that a proper count of all residents is necessary for governments and local communities to bring in much-needed federal taxpayer dollars. The U.S. Census is taken every 10 years to apportion representation in Congress and federal money.

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Tennessee households will receive a Census Bureau letter inviting them to respond to the census in March 2020. They can respond by phone, mail or online. The deadline is April 1, 2020.

Lee’s wife, Maria, also made a PSA. They both stressed that information individuals provide for the census won’t be made public.

“The information you provide is completely confidential and can never be used against you in any way,” first lady Maria Lee said in her announcement.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris asked residents to complete the census so that the city and county receive their proper share of federal dollars for public education, transit, health care, housing, infrastructure and other needs.

The city of Memphis has allocated $300,000 for Census outreach, officials said.

Census officials are hiring workers throughout Tennessee. In West Tennessee, hourly wages can range from $13.50 to $26.