JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Governor Bill Lee’s “Tennessee Complete Count Committee” is mostly comprised of government leaders with ties to middle Tennessee.
A few are from Northeast Tennessee- including former Johnson City Mayor David Tomita.
“Every 10 years we get the opportunity to take a picture of what America looks like at that time- Who lives here, who are our Americans- where are they living, what are their ages?,” says Tomita.
The upcoming 2020 United States Census count could mean a lot for the Tri- Cities.
“$700 billion worth of federal funding is determined by population, so the more people we have- the more money we get,” said Tomita.
Tomita, along with 37 other state leaders was appointed to this Committee by Governor Bill Lee.
“We are charged with bringing awareness and participation to the upcoming 2020 census in our communities,” said Tomita.
He says that federal funding isn’t the only thing determined by the census.
It’s also about representation in Congress.
“Your representation is by population so we wouldn’t want to lose representation,” said Tomita.
So he says – it’s important that the numbers are right this time-
“Over a million children under five years old were not included in the 2010 census so there’s a demographic we’ve got to make sure we’re catching.”
Especially in the Tri-Cities where the population has been in decline.
“Heads counted means dollars to your local economy,” said Tomita.
Households across Tennessee will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau to respond to the 2020 Census in March.
This time residents can also respond online or by phone before the April 1st deadline.