City + Citizen News

The City Needs You ... To Complete The Census

Monday, July 20

Accurate Census data key to community development efforts in Spartanburg


The City of Spartanburg is a vibrant place, filled with people who care about their community and want to help make it the best possible place to live, to raise a family, and to own and operate a business. Our citizens are active participants in the life of their city, organizing to make their voices heard, showing up to meetings and events, calling and questioning their elected leaders.


As Assistant City Manager Mitch Kennedy puts it, people in Spartanburg don’t just want to snack and keep moving — they want to take their seat at the table and have a meal. Indeed, getting big, important, hard things done requires an investment of time and a high level of commitment — a more prosperous, equitable and just community isn’t something you can grab-and-go. It’s real work, and it’s the type of work that doesn’t come with a box you can check that says “Complete.”


At the same time, there are some things that anyone can do that make a big difference. Things that the city needs everyone to do, in fact.


Like completing the Census.


Want to ensure that potential developers or large retailers see the true potential and allure of investing in Spartanburg? We need everyone to complete the Census.


Want to help the effort to lure job-seekers and retirees (along with their talents and disposable income) to Spartanburg? We need everyone to complete the Census.


Want to ensure that our community gets its share of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)? How about federal public transit funds? Or dozens of other sources of state and federal funding, such as ones that help build roads and bike lanes and support health care and public education? In each and every case, we need everyone to complete the Census to help Spartanburg access the maximum amount of resources available.


Over the past decade, the City has received more than $20 million in CDBG and HOME funds alone. And a more accurate count on the 2010 Census could have resulted in even more.


“Rarely does a day go by that something we’re working on or working toward doesn’t rely on Census data,” City Manager Chris Story said.


By now, if you haven’t completed Census, we hope you feel incredibly motivated to do your part for Spartanburg. The good news is that you still have time to do so online at People who have not yet completed their Census online have been mailed paper versions to complete and mail back.


And thousands of people have been hired to organize the Census effort. It reaches into every state, every county, and every community to ensure the most accurate count possible. Locally, these efforts have included events like this week’s Pull Up For The Census at the Spartanburg County Downtown Library. More events are being planned to help people do their part and improve what currently stands at a 60 percent completion rate countywide.


“It is absolutely critical that we get as close to 100 percent completed as possible — it will mean the difference in potentially tens of millions of dollars and resources for our community over the next decade,” Story said. “As we rebuild our local economy in the wake of COVID, these resources are going to be more important than ever. It’s not an exaggeration to say one of the best things you can do for our community right now is to first, complete the Census yourself if you haven’t, and second, find out how you can help the local efforts to get the most complete count possible.”


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