MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - "It only takes about ten minutes to fill the census forms out, and it is very important to take a stand and be counted," Volunteer Tanya Franklin said.
"Be Counted" is the message this volunteer group plans to spread across Moss Point the next four months.
Members like Tabbitha Mosley say every child and adult on every corner in the city needs be included in the 2010 census count.
"Moss Point's last count was in 2000, which the population was 16 [thousand] and actually 13,000 got counted," Mosley said. "The year 2010, we want to make sure Moss Point gets what Moss Point deserves, which is an accurate count."
Volunteers said in the past it has been a struggle to get an accurate count, especially in some of the predominantly black or poor neighborhoods.
"There were some areas in Moss Point census counters refuse to go in because they felt like it was a blighted area and they were a little concerned for their safety," volunteer Mitch Ellerby said.
Mayor Aneice Liddell said a low population count could hinder the city's progress.
"We lost a U.S. representatives just because the count for Mississippi. People have to be engaged and know that we lose federal dollars and representatives," Mayor Liddell said about the importance of the count.
Volunteers said they plan to mail out letters, knock on doors, and hold community meetings to educate people on the government data and how it benefits communities.
"It provides revenue for your cities. It provides a layout area for business and industries that want to come in," volunteer Ellerby said. "If we ever have a disaster, then that money is very important because it based on the census output. And it's based on how much money is allocated for that area."
The group hopes the preparation will pay off in 2010. If you are interested in joining Moss Point's complete count group call, (228) 475-0300