Southern State Governments Hamper Census Outreach Efforts

Southern State Governments Hamper Census Outreach Efforts

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State commissions also need money or other resources to offer local groups whose help they need to reach out to communities. “You’re asking them to engage,” said Danielle Clore, the director of the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, which is heading up that state’s commission. “That is a sector that is already stretched to the limit.”

Clore said the Kentucky coalition has had a hard time securing any funding from the state, philanthropies or business partners. “We’re not taking it seriously,” she said of Kentucky. “We’re just not pouring even remotely the same kind of resources in” as other states.

While that’s frustrating for her, it has serious implications for the state’s residents. Funding for a wide variety of government programs is based on Census Bureau data, affecting the distribution of money for everything from social safety-net programs to infrastructure, education, and disaster relief grants. Clore pointed out that if the state’s federal funding for social services falls short as a result of an undercount, it will fall to nonprofits to fill in the gap — something that’s true for states across the South.

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