County 2020 Census Committee authorized

A year from now, the United States 2020 Census will be in full swing.

America is changing fast and the 2020 Census will determine how more than $800 billion in federal funding is allocated each year. The census is critical for figuring out what communities need to be healthier, safer, and more successful.

In response, the Mower County Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution authorizing the formation of a local Complete Count Committee (CCC) to work with the U.S. Census Bureau and the State of Minnesota to ensure an accurate count of individuals living in Mower County in 2020.

Mower County’s CCC will be headed up by the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s office and will include representatives from the city of Austin and other community and county partners.

Over the next few weeks, invitations to join the CCC will be sent to organizations and individuals. Committee meetings will be scheduled and the CCC will work to promote and explain the importance of participating in the 2020 Census as well as identifying effective methods to reach all segments of the diverse population in Mower County.

It is expected that individuals will be able to start completing their census forms in mid-March 2020.

In 2016, Minnesota received over $15.4 billion in federal dollars based on 2010 census data, including $6.6 billion for Medicaid, $3 billion for federal direct student loans, $660 million for highway planning and construction, $602 million for the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and $165 million for the national school lunch program.

“The Mower County Complete Count Committee’s objective is to raise awareness of and provide information about what the census is and the importance of being counted in order to achieve as accurate a 2020 Census population count locally as possible,” said Mower County Auditor-Treasurer Scott Felten in a press release. “The 2020 Census will determine how the government spends over $800 billion in federal dollars. Census figures will impact how much federal funding Mower County will receive in future years. We need to be sure as much of our tax dollars make it back to our communities as possible. If our county population count is underreported, we stand to lose out on federal funding and it will go to other communities and states. The last time we had a census was 2010, and our communities and needs are different now than they were then. Our communities thrive when everyone participates and is involved.”

The results of the 2020 Census will also determine the redistricting of boundaries for federal and state legislative seats as well as local city wards.

•More information on the 2020 Census can be found at www.census.gov and www.mn.gov/admin/demography/census2020.

•More information about Minnesota funding derived from census data can be found at: gwipp.gwu.edu/counting-dollars-2020-role-decennial-census-geographic-distribution-federal-funds.

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