JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Governor Parson signed Executive Order 18-12 establishing the Missouri 2020 Complete Count Committee on Wednesday.

The purpose of this committee is to heighten awareness for the 2020 Census and coordinate messaging and community outreach in hard-to-count areas of Missouri. An accurate census count is the bedrock of U.S. democracy, and it is a civic duty to participate just like voting. A fair and equitable count is critical in determining the economic, social, and political voice of Missouri’s citizens. It also ensures fair representation, funding, and investment for all communities.

“We cannot overstate the importance of accurate and reliable census data,” said Governor Parson. “Collected census data is used for everything from how we determine the distribution of congressional seats to how we allocate federal resources, an issue that is particularly important for Missouri’s urban and rural communities.”

The number of people counted in an area determines the size of school classrooms, the locations of parks and playgrounds, the routes that ambulances take to and from hospitals, the decisions businesses make to hire or expand, and so much more. When communities are undercounted, they appear invisible and receive a smaller share of these resources. They also receive less representation in local, state, and federal government.

“We appreciate the work of our U.S. congressional delegation and community leader and former president of UniGroup, Rich McClure,” said Governor Parson. “Missouri’s Complete Count Committee will be a critical component in the effort to secure a fair and equitable 2020 Census for all Missourians.”