Advocacy group Fair Count has launched a statewide television buy to encourage participation in the 2020 Census, particularly in communities historically labeled hard-to-count.

The television ad, “Road to Recovery,” will be broadcasted in Atlanta, Macon, Columbus/Opelika, Albany, Augusta- Aiken, Savannah, Jacksonville, and the Thomasville/Tallahassee markets. The ad will be supported by radio and digital in the Georgia markets.

“This has been a challenged census and so much is at stake, including Georgia’s ability to draw down our fair share of federal resources over the next decade, as well as our need for fair political maps that are reflective of all people living in Georgia,” explained Rebecca DeHart, CEO of Fair Count. “The dire circumstances we have found ourselves in have been compounded by COVID-19.

“When we recover from this pandemic, we need to make sure we return to thriving schools, accessible healthcare and an economy that works for all of us,” she continued. “Completing the 2020 Census is the first step towards our recovery.”

Founded by Stacey Abrams in 2019, Fair Count is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to partnering with hard-to-count communities to achieve a fair and accurate count of all people in Georgia and the nation in the 2020 Census and to strengthening the pathways to greater civic participation.

The radio and television buys are focused in Middle and South Georgia where census self-response rates are some of the lowest in the state. On Aug. 23, the national response rate to the 2020 Census was 76.5 percent, but Georgia trails behind at 67.9 percent. For every person not counted in the 2020 Census, Georgia could lose upwards of $3,600 annually for the next ten years.

“We have just five weeks left to get this count right,” said Jeanine Abrams McLean, vice president of Fair Count. There are no do-overs, we only get one shot. These ads are part of our broader campaign to raise the level of participation in the 2020 Census so that Georgia gets its fair share of resources and political power.”

The 2020 Census will allocate more than $1.5 trillion dollars every year to communities through hundreds of federal programs, direct reapportionment and redistricting, and guide economic development opportunities for the next decade.

(Photo: US Census Bureau)

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