As you know by now, there is a Census being conducted this year. Every ten years, our Federal government conducts a massive undertaking trying to figure out who lives in our country, and where they live.
The Census is mandated in our constitution, specifically in Article 1, Section 2. It makes sense, we need to account for changes in our population. In the concrete industry, we are constantly looking at ways we can adapt to changing conditions. If all of a sudden most of the people left an area and no one was using our services there, then we would look to shift our service area. If over the course of a couple of years thousands people moved to Moberly, then it would stand to reason that companies would consider expanding there to provide them their services. So it’s extremely important to know your environment, and for those same reasons it is an important, and often overlooked, task that our government needs to accomplish.
The importance and the effects of the Census are especially felt in government. For example, in the last Census, Missouri lost a congressional seat in Washington D.C. because it was determined that people had left Missouri. So instead of having nine Representatives in Congress, we now have eight. Maybe people did leave Missouri, or maybe not enough people in Missouri filled out and submitted their Census form. To ensure that does not happen again, we need to make sure we are all doing our part with the Census.
In Northeast Missouri, it’s especially important because after the Census is completed the state legislature will go through redistricting. So, based on the results and where the population in Missouri is located, people’s Senate and House districts could change. Folks who live in Pike County could be drawn into districts in St. Louis, for example. And people who live in Randolph County could definitely end up in a district that includes Columbia. Those districts would definitely not represent the people who live in those counties.
I cannot emphasize this enough: Please fill out your Census. Please answer the door and talk to the Census worker who might knock on it one afternoon soon. It is extremely important for our communities in Northeast Missouri that your household is counted in this year’s Census. For representation in your government, and for resources from your government that we need, please make sure to take the Census seriously.
As always I appreciate hearing your perspective on this and other issues presented in my weekly column. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-7985. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.