Census Questionnaires Arriving Now. Do your part, more Biloxi News

From:  City of Biloxi  3/16/2020   GCN

Official questionnaires from Census 2020 began arriving in mailboxes in Biloxi this week, and Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich is asking Biloxians to make time to respond, either online or using the self-enclosed envelope.

The white 10-inch-by-six-inch envelope contains a letter from Census Director Steven D. Dillingham, a Q&A about the census, multi-lingual explanations on how to respond to the census, and the seven-page "official questionnaire."

The envelope containing the census documents also spells out the importance of the documents. On the outside, in English and Spanish, it bears the words, in all caps, "Your response is required by law."
For the first time, respondents can reply online.

"It was quick and easy to do online," said Biloxi Councilman Paul Tisdale. "You review the form, Person 1, the person who owns the residence or pays rent, and answers nine questions. There are seven questions for other persons at the residence, Person 2, Person 3 and so forth. It took me nine minutes to complete online. Bam. Done."

All households in Biloxi and throughout the country should receive the Census questionnaire by mail no later than March 20. Then on March 30 through April 1, representatives with the Census Bureau will visit shelters and soup kitchens as well as walk around the streets and tent encampments in Biloxi to count people who are experiencing homelessness.

By April 1, every home in Biloxi and throughout the nation will have received an invitation to participate in the census.

The mayor, in his State of the City address weeks ago, said he believes that Biloxi's population, now at 45,908 according to the Census, was not fully counted in the last Census, and he hopes the number of residents is closer to 55,000.

Said Gilich: "It is vital that you take part in this process. It will determine your representation in federal, state and local governments. The information compiled guides the distribution of federal funds, grants and other support to communities.

"For the first time, this census can be accomplished online, by phone or by mail. Please encourage everyone to step up, complete the surveys, help your city and your nation."

Throughout the month of April, May, June and July, representatives will visit homes, schools and other locations in an effort to make sure everyone is counted.

Video: See the mayor's message
Get a peek at Census 2020 documents

Natatorium, Snyder Center to close temporarily

The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department has decided to temporarily close two well-used facilities beginning Monday.

The Biloxi Natatorium and the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, facilities that are frequented by people of all ages, will close on March 16 and remain closed until further notice.

"We want to be prudent," said Parks & Recreation Director Cheryl Bell. "We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause, but the public's health and welfare are foremost factors when making these kinds of decisions."

Anyone who has scheduled an event at either of the facilities or has questions about the use of other department facilities, should call the Parks & Recreation office weekdays at 228-388-7170.

Visit the Parks & Recreation Department's webpage

Podcast: A rollercoaster of a week

This week's City Desk podcast reviews the week -- huge back-to-back crowds at the ballpark, followed by a chilling postponement of weekend events -- as community leaders continue to work to diminish the chance of the Coronavirus spreading. The weekly public affairs program, which also focuses on Census 2020 this week, was recorded this afternoon at City Hall.

Listen to the City Desk podcast

Released by Vincent Creel and Cecilia Dobbs Walton