The mayors of three local communities have challenged each other to see who gets the largest rate of responses in the 2020 U.S. Census, conducted every 10 years. In the three-way competition, Wartrace Mayor Cindy Drake, Bell Buckle Mayor Ronnie Lokey and Normandy Mayor Charles Whitaker have agreed that the municipality that comes out on top with the largest percentage of responses will host the other mayors who will serve lunch to members of the winning community.
U.S. Census workers are currently going door-to-door seeking accurate numbers from households who have not already turned in their census information. This field work is scheduled to end on September 30 – the same day the mayoral challenge ends.
“Competition usually creates interest and support for most events and we hope that happens with this event. We need everyone to respond to the census count so that we are assured of receiving our share of federal funds that come to local governments,” said Mayor Lokey. “I send Wartrace and Normandy best wishes because I know Bell Buckle always rises to the challenge and we will win this one.”
Census results directly impact funding available for local and state governments for services and infrastructure. "If you fill out your census today, it will count for Bedford County for the next 10 years,” said Sylvia Pinson, Bedford County 2020 Census Chair. “Each year, $675 billion dollars in federal funding is distributed to states and local communities based on the census data. Federal funding supports the building of schools, hospitals, roads, public works, emergency police & fire services, children & family services and other vital programs. Shape the Future: Be counted for Bedford County!"
Mayor Drake added that communities lose $1,091 each year for every uncounted person. “By completing your census information, you are helping to build our infrastructure and a better quality of life.” Census results also determine the number of Congressional representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, based on population. “It’s so very important for every single town in Bedford County to get accurate counts. I have full confidence that residents of a town with 'war' written in its very name will rise to this challenge!”
Mayor Drake further noted that Bell Buckle currently has the lowest response rate, “Mayor Lokey made a pretty bold statement for someone whose town is already in last place. As far as Normandy is concerned, they could have all their residents counted in one day because of their small population.”
"We may be small but we have it going on,” said Normandy Mayor Charles Whitaker. “Normandy sounds kinda like 'normalcy' but let me tell you, there's nothing normal about us. Do we need to remind you big guys who's been way out front since the census rolled out? Of course we accept the challenge, 'cause we're gonna win! Besides, there's only 150 souls in our metropolitan area on a good day. So you can bet your bottom dollar we want to be sure we are ALL counted!"