It’s that time of the decade: time to make ourselves known to the feds, so that cities, counties and the state can get proper representation and funding.

Jefferson City and Cole County recently announced they will partner in the 2020 Census by establishing a Complete County Committee. The committee, which will partner with other local groups, will strive for an accurate Census count in the county.

That’s important for two primary reasons: money and power. If we don’t count everyone in our county, we risk losing both.

According to a news release from the committee, a complete Census count helps to ensure the appropriate financial resources for each entity are received from the federal government. Essentially, that means getting value for the federal taxes we’ve already paid.

As for power, that refers to representation in Congress. All states have two U.S. senators, but the Census helps determine how many U.S. House members we’ll have.

After the 2000 Census, Missouri lost a House seat, dropping from nine to eight. That reduced our influence in a state that some Congress members already dismiss as a flyover state.

At the time, some blamed a low Census return in Missouri for its loss of a U.S. House seat. That means not everyone was counted because some people failed to fill out their Census forms.

Let’s again lead the way for Missouri, and hopefully at the very least we can keep the congressional representation we have.

Copyright Jefferson City News Tribune. Reprinted with permission.

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