Boone County Counts to hold more meetings on 2020 Census

1 month 1 week 1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:00:00 AM CST February 21, 2020 in News
By: Will Morris, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Boone County Counts will hold the latest in a series of outreach meetings about the 2020 Census on Friday.

The group is a partnership between the city of Columbia and Boone County. Its goal is to get a complete count in this year's U.S. Census.

Sara Humm is a community outreach specialist for Columbia and is working on the project, as well. She said the meetings are important to help reach out to historically-undercounted groups of people. She also said the census is important for citizens to be counted in.

"A lot of census data is used for federal funding and that's for: roads, that's for schools, bridges, hospitals, WIC, SNAP, lunch programs, section 8 housing vouchers, veterans disability. It's literally across the board of what kinds of programs are impacted by census data," Humm said.

Humm also said on a local level, businesses use census data to decide where to expand. This can help create jobs and other economic opportunities in Columbia, which makes an accurate count more important.

Brianna Lennon is the Boone County Clerk and one of the partners of Boone County Counts. She said these meetings and the census, in general, are important to democracy, as they help determine representation.

"They're using information from the census on doing redistricting, on making sure that we have all of our citizens appropriately redistricted for 2021 and beyond," Lennon said.

Friday's round of outreach meetings is one of 10 that Boone County Counts is hosting this year. Lennon and Humm are also speaking at a number of other meetings around the area that aren't put on by Boone County Counts.

According to the group's website, each Missouri resident who isn't counted in the census costs the state $1,300 in federal funding per year, or $13,000 per person per census missed.

Citizens have until April 1 to fill in their U.S. Census questionnaire.

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