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Census 2020 Deadline: Atlanta Mayor Urges Residents To Respond

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) --Time is running out for residents to complete the 2020 Census. In a virtual press conference on September 16, 2020, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says all residents need to respond to the census by the September 30, 2020 deadline to ensure future funding for the city.

During a virtual press conference, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms blamed the Trump Administration for no longer extending the deadline until October 31.  "This is problematic for many reasons," she said, referencing how the wildfires in California and storm damage from Hurricane Sally could also hinder the efforts. "It is making it even less likely that we will be able to hit the mark with census."

Bottoms says the overall response rate in Atlanta right now is just under 58%. U.S. Census workers in the Atlanta area are putting in countless hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, knocking on doors to raise that percentage by September 30. "What they're finding is that people want to respond, they just haven't taken the time to do so," said Bottoms.

"There are some parts of Atlanta with tracts of 70% or higher. I think there are a few with 80% or higher," said Assistant Regional Census Manager Marilyn Stephens. She says the low-response areas include College Park, East Point, the West End, and the Cascade neighborhood.

Officials say the city is still on track to receive more responses than the last census in 2010. However, they say if residents want to see the city get more funding for infrastructure, healthcare, education other vital services, they need to complete it.

Mayor Bottoms says if you're in a low-track response area, count on text messages, robot-calls and visits until the deadline.

"You're gonna see a bus coming through your community," she said. "When you see that bus, that means your community is not where it needs to be."

A court hearing on Thursday could determine if the census deadline will be re-extended until the end of October.

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