Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is gearing up to ensure that every person in the state is counted ahead of the 2020 census and launched a new non-profit organization to help lead the effort, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“Georgians risk missing out on critical federal dollars, business opportunities and may suffer unfair or inaccurate redistricting if we don’t get this count done correctly,” said Georgia state Rep. Carolyn Hugley, chair of the new board of the group, Fair Count.
The organization will hone in on hard-to-reach populations and areas and help minorities and non-English speakers, renters and others who are more prone to being skipped during the census count. Abrams says she aims to close that gap.
“I know too many Georgians feel unseen and unheard,” said Abrams in Fair Count’s debut video. “And these are the voices we need in Georgia the most…unfortunately, if we don’t get counted, then we simply won’t count.”
The latest census estimates revealed that some 20 percent of Georgians live in areas deemed difficult to count.
Those areas are important to the infrastructure of the state and help determine how taxpayer dollars are allocated and how areas are outlined on the state’s political maps, according to the AJC.
In 2019, the Census bureau said there were at least 1.5 million minorities uncounted, largely Blacks, Hispanics, renters and young men.
Counting matters especially because it determines the amount of representatives in Congress in each state. Also each state receives federal funding for healthcare, education and other public services based on its population and it wants its fair share
Abrams has tapped Rebecca DeHart, the former executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia to lead Fair Count and Jeanine Abrams McLean, a former CDC scientist and Abrams’ sister, will be the group’s program director, according to the outlet.
“We need organizing, innovation and a thorough understanding of data and processes to get this job done,” said Abrams McLean, adding: “We can do better. Because if you aren’t counted, you simply won’t count.”