GUEST COMMENTARY: Why you should fill out your Census form

Friday, February 26, 2010 | 1:22 p.m. CST; updated 10:47 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the coming weeks, the 2010 Census form will be arriving in your mailboxes, providing you with an opportunity to stand up and be counted.

Providing census information by filling out the form you receive in the mail is critical to all communities because it helps determine how the federal government provides $400 billion worth of funding for services and infrastructure that we all use every day.

How to contact the congressman

As always, I encourage you to visit our Web site at
I also encourage you to call our offices in Columbia at 573-886-8928; Washington, Mo., at 636-239-2276; or Hannibal at 573-231-1012 with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit our YouTube site and our Facebook page.

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Not participating can be costly. In fact, 3 million Americans were not counted in the last Census. When a person is missed, it ends up costing a local community about $1,500 and that can add up. This counting of Americans is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, which requires a census to be conducted every 10 years.

Over the next few weeks, every residence will receive a short form of 10 questions. The information collected will be kept confidential and used only for tabulations that do not reveal personal data about individuals and households.

As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over the 2010 Census, I will continue to work in the weeks ahead to ensure that you have the information you need to participate in the Census. In fact, I have a link on my official Web site to the Census Bureau and I encourage you to go there and learn more about this important upcoming activity: Also, you will be pleased to know that the Census Bureau has severed its ties with ACORN in regard to the 2010 Census.

I will continue to fight wasteful spending in Washington, but the Census is truly an opportunity for you to have a real say in how your hard-earned tax dollars are spent. So please stand up and be counted.

Blaine Luetkemeyer is the representative for Missouri's 9th Congressional District.

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