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Mayor encourages Census participation
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Editor, One of the most important civic events for our nation has arrived — the 2010 Census. The Census is required once every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution and the intent is to count every man, woman and child living in the United States. In the city of Hinesville, we want to make sure every man, woman and child is counted. Our city needs your help during the Census being conducted this year to educate residents about the importance of this form and to remind them to mail forms by National Census Day on April 1.
Every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to tribal, state and local governments based on Census data. In the past, Census data was used to qualify Hinesville for projects such as the Azalea Street redevelopment, Irene B. Thomas Park, homebuyer education workshops, Memorial Drive realignment, Fort Stewart water reuse and others.
The 2010 Census data is critical to the future growth and welfare of our community. The accurate counting of all citizens of our city means that we will get the state and federal funding that we are entitled to and truly need. It also means that we will attract the businesses and amenities that our city needs to grow and thrive. Businesses use Census data to make informed critical decisions as well as determine locations for new offices and stores, helping to create jobs in our communities.
One of the shortest Census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. The individual in whose name the housing unit is rented or owned should complete the form on behalf of every person living there, both relatives and nonrelatives.
Take 10 minutes to fill out the form and mail it back by April 1, National Census Day. Census workers will visit households that did not return forms between April and July. By law, the Census Bureau delivers population information to the president for apportionment in December 2010 and the data will be delivered to the states in March 2011.
This year, we will have a Liberty County Census celebration April 1. This includes a tour of the county and celebration conclusion in Main Street Park. Please see the schedule below:
• 9-9:30 a.m.: Tour Kickoff at Flemington City Hall
• 10-11 a.m.: Midway City Hall
• Noon-1 p.m.: Riceboro City Hall
• 2-3 p.m.:  Walthourville City Hall
• 5-7 p.m.:  Main Street Park in Hinesville — celebration conclusion complete with food, games and fun.
I encourage everyone in the city of Hinesville, county of Liberty and state of Georgia to take 10 minutes to participate in the Census by answering the 10-question Census form. Together, we can create a better tomorrow for ourselves, our families and our community.

Mayor James Thomas Jr.

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