ATLANTA — With the U.S. Census deadline quickly approaching, a campaign urging people to participate continues to sweep the south.
Former Georgia representative Stacey Abrams is helping to lead that initiative.
According to federal officials, Georgia census response rate is the second-worst in the country. With time running out, and so much at stake, Abrams is hoping to stress the negative impact under-counting Georgians will have for years to come.
The Fair Count founder and former New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu launched "Census in the south: Road to recovery." It's a virtual bus tour across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The message: complete the 2020 census.
As 11Alive reported, the census is on track to drastically under-count the south. That's why both leaders want to remind people the 2020 census is a critical step in directing more than $1.5 trillion to the states through federal programs each year - for the next 10 years.
In Georgia, Abrams said this would directly impact communities of color and rural communities the most.
"Forty percent of Georgia is comprised of communities of color, more than 40 percent. That means if we are under-counting communities of color and rural communities - which are the two hardest-hit populations - we are risking losing millions of dollars every single year."
The deadline for the 2020 census is Sept. 30 — that's exactly two weeks from now.