Rev. Sam Brown, left, with Logan Temple stands with Census count team member Vivian Shipe, center, and Knoxville/Knox County board member Linda McCabbe during a registration dinner drive at his church. Photo by James Shipes

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — Late Thursday evening Federal Judge Lucy Kohl overruled the decision to end the 2020 Census count on Sept. 30 and ruled the census would instead end on Oct. 31 as was originally planned.

This reinstatement now gives states the opportunity to continue to count the people in order to obtain a complete and accurate count. 

Knoxville’s complete Census ount committees and many organizations across the city have been holding events to make sure communities with low response rates are encouraged to be counted. 

Rain or blistering sun, churches and organizations like the Knoxville/Knox County League of Women Voters have been teaming up and holding events with census and community groups to make sure the people are counted and registered to vote. 

With the judge’s decision, those events are ramping up.

 Drives are planned every week until the end of October. Churches are holding drive thru grocery and dinner giveaways, events have been set up at COVID -19 testing sites and there is a large concert on the lawn event scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 4, the day before the voter registration deadline to drive the numbers up. The event even features a prize for everyone who brings ten people from the community to be counted.

The rush to be get everyone counted has a looming adversary as an appeal has already been filed to overturn the judges decision. Until it is heard, the citizens of Knoxville press on determined to raise the numbers in order to get their apportionment of the $675 billion for the next 10 years.

The war cry: The mission is to complete the mission.

Knoxville police officers, l-r, Keeno Carlos and Stan
Cash II stand out on the road directing people to
COVID-19 testing and Census help. Photo by James Shipes
Rev. Leah Burns, left, watches carefully as her church members do their 2nd grocery/Census giveaway along with Dr. Vivian Williams. Photo by Vivian Shipe