LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Population data that will be collected from the 2020 Census will decide things like how many congressional seats, electoral college votes, and federal aid a state can get.
In this Moving Acadiana Forward, News 10’s Caroline Marcello explains how the Lafayette, Lake Charles, and metro areas are uniting to promote the Acadiana Southwest Louisiana super-region.
(We’d like to note that this interview was taped on March 6 before social distancing guidelines were put in place.)
Ahead of the 2020 Census, legislators from the Acadiana and South Louisiana regions came together to keep the 3rd Congressional District unified on issues like economic development and infrastructure investments.
“Our legislative delegation is combined have much more power and a much louder voice,” said One Acadiana’s Troy Wayman.
The Acadiana Southwest Louisiana super-region represents nearly one million people in the state. That’s almost a fourth of the population of Louisiana.
“Counting every single person means that we will be able to draw down more federal dollars which will help us match any grants or projects that we are currently working on whether it’s transportation or housing,” said Acadia Chamber of Commerce’s Amy Thibodeaux
The super-region is encouraging all residents in these 13 parishes to participate in the Census, as the turnout will affect both redistricting and future funding levels for the area.
In 2021, that Census will inform our legislative congressional redistricting and we need to make sure that we don’t lose a congressional seat or that we don’t get split up into odd congressional districts,” said Wayman.
By speaking with a unified voice, the group hopes to achieve shared goals for both of the regions.
This needs to be personal,” said Jeff Davis Economic Development’s Marion Fox. “If we can tell them this affects everything that you do every day and the dollars you get personally from the federal government then we could make a difference.”
There have been some operational adjustments to the Census due to COVID-19. For all up-to-date information, visit 2020census.gov.
Once the Census passes, the super-region plans to address other regional needs, including I-49 South and the bridge in Lake Charles to make sure we get the proper representation and regional needs filled.