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U.S. Census is crucial
People 2.jpg

Warren County and McMinnville government leaders are urging residents to be counted during the 2020 United States Census. 

The U.S. Constitution requires the government to enumerate the number of people living in the United States every 10 years. The census is managed by the U.S. Census Bureau. By April 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the census and given three options to respond -- online, by mail, or by phone.

Warren County Executive Jimmy Haley and McMinnville Mayor Ben Newman say this is more than a head count. 

“The census is extremely important,” said Haley. 

For the next 10 years, the results will help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities for hospitals, fire departments, schools, and even roads and highways.

Contrary to senators, of which every state has two, the number of representatives per state is determined solely based on population, as are the districts in Warren County.

“Districts for the county will also be redrawn based upon census data,” said Haley. “Transportation needs are based upon census data. Housing assistance from USDA and other agencies are based upon census data. This is a valuable tool.”

Businesses often use the census count to determine where new stores will be constructed. For existing businesses, that information is often used to govern where products will be shipped. 

To do all this and more properly, the count needs to be accurate. Counting everyone is a massive undertaking. To help, the Census Bureau hires hundreds of thousands of people in communities across America to assist with the 2020 count. 

Newman says he was one of those individuals. 

“I was in college in Knoxville and I was an enumerator with the census,” said Newman. “People who didn’t fill out their census, they would have me come to their door and have me to ask politely to fill it out. Some people wanted to, but some still didn’t want to. If you don’t fill it out, you don’t get counted. If you don’t get counted, we don’t get the money that we need. When people get their census form, encourage them to fill it out.” 

Employment opportunities will be available. Temporary jobs will include census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff. To be eligible, individuals must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Apply online at https://2020census.gov/ 

Jobs for the census offer competitive wages that are paid weekly. Authorized expenses, such as mileage, are reimbursed for employees doing fieldwork.

Locally, a Complete Count Committee will be established and tasked with urging all households in Warren County to participate. The committee will consist of elected officials and community leaders. 

Newman and Haley signed a proclamation during the last McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting regarding the 2020 United States Census, its importance, and the efforts to be undertaken to make it accurate.