Lexington city leaders want people to be more active in next year’s census

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- "My City, I Count" is Lexington's new slogan for its 2020 census campaign. Local leaders want people to be more active in next year's population count.

"Taking a look at our past census, we've recognized that historically we've been undercounted by one third," Mayor Newell Clark said.

Previous inaccurate census counts have cost Lexington some major cash.

"For us, as a municipality, it's been close to $6.5 million," Clark said.

This is why city leaders are doing more than they've ever done to get the word out.

"You're branded with that number for the next 10 years. They do not come back and recount you," Clark said.

Clark said the city receives a certain amount of state and federal funding based on the number of people reported in that city.

"You're talking about improving parks, quality of life and streets and protection," Clark said.

Since Lexington is continuously growing, it's vital everyone is accounted for.

"We know how that's going to also help funding for our schools and how it's going to help for our nonprofits. It helps everyone and holistically it helps the whole community," Clark said.

The census also determines the number of seats in the US House of Representatives, US Electoral College representation, and it contributes to legislative districting. Census Day will be on April 1, 2020. Federal workers will ask questions about the number of people in your home, as well as information about their age, sex and race.

"We're getting a lot of our city staff and a lot of our city citizens involved that'll be working with the federal government as well," Clark said.

City leaders hope their campaign will influence other smaller cities that are undercounted.

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