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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

The 2020 CENSUS
January 2020

The US Census is a Federal "count" that occurs every 10 years in the U.S., and it is a count that is important for not only our state but also for Livingston County. For Missouri, the census determines our House of Representatives' apportionment. In the last census, Missouri lost a representative at the federal level; but, hopefully, with maximum participation, we can get this House seat back.

Responding to the Census helps communities get the federal funding they need, and it helps businesses make data-driven decisions that help a community grow. It provides about $675 billion dollars of federal funds that get distributed nationwide based on population - that's about $16 billion distributed in Missouri. This disbursement includes grants for road work, after-school programs, disaster relief, and elderly care, just to name a few. Adequately reflecting our population can mean more dollars to our state and to Livingston County.

Of course, completing the census is a civic duty. Article 1, Section II, of the Constitution says that everyone gets counted. Therefore, to support the Constitution, I believe we need to participate.

It is my understanding that residents will soon be given notice for the opportunity to fill out the census online. For people who do not fill out the online survey, surveys will be mailed out in a month or two. The survey can be returned by mail or may be filed by phone. For people who do not fill out any of the surveys, census workers will come to your house to get the information needed beginning as early as April of 2020. From the information I have seen, 95% of households will receive their census invitation by mail. If you don't want the census worker coming to your house, I would suggest that you either complete the online survey or the survey by mail or phone.

The census will ask for several items. These include: 1) The names of everyone in the household; 2) The sex of each person; 3) Age and date of birth; 4) Whether people are Hispanic, Latino or of Spanish origin to create statistics about ethnic groups; 5) Race; 6) Whether a person lives or stays somewhere else; and 7) Relationships of each person in the household.

There are also temporary jobs one can apply for. We have been told that people will be hired by the Census Bureau to help gather this data. We have not been able to ascertain the number of people in our county who would be hired; but if you are interested, you can call 1-855-JOB-2020 or check online at 2020Census.Gov/Jobs.

For further information you can connect with the Census bureau on Twitter at @uscensusbureau or go online to 2020CENSUS.GOV.

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