Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Stand Up and Be Counted

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

Every 10 years, we are completely different people in new bodies. Scientists have found that the human body replaces all its old cells with new ones. So roughly every decade, you don’t host any of the same cells that you used to. News flash, you literally aren’t who you were at 20 or 30 or 40. On your birthday or when you’re feeling particularly reflective, you might look back and notice all the ways your body has changed. You might make different decisions about fiber, wrinkle cream, nights out and exercise based on the body you have now.

Our country is regenerating, too. That’s why we take the census. The Constitution mandates that every 10 years we take a count of the population of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. It’s prudent that the decisions we make today reflect who we are as a country and not who we used to be.

An accurate count can help decide when and where roads and bridges are built. Federal funding is allocated to programs like the Department of Transportation’s Highway Planning and Construction based on census statistics.  And states can use the data as well to decide what regions are growing fastest and need the infrastructure to catch up.

The Census Bureau in charge of the decennial count is also tasked with polling state, county, and local governments to track how they spend money on things like roads.

Beyond infrastructure, the census provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats and redistricting.  States with growing or shrinking populations could see their number of representatives change as the census helps state legislatures or bipartisan committees redraw district maps to better mirror the population.

Businesses use the census results as well. Before bringing jobs to an area, business owners can review the demographics to decide if the population can support the business. Developers can build neighborhoods to accommodate the people who live there.

The size and resources of emergency preparedness programs, new fire department locations and money for school lunches are community-level issues that depend on the national census.

But not everyone participates. There are a lot of reasons that people may not be counted when the census takers offer residents the chance to respond online, by phone or by mail. Some may not think it matters, others may not trust the government with their information, some may not speak/read/write in English or may be without an address, but important decisions about hundreds of billions of dollars are made based on the data the census provides.

If you’ve been reading Arkansas Trucking Report for a while, you probably know that I like data. I love numbers. I don’t like to make decisions without the data to support it. So this April, I’ll be making time to be counted. My household on my block in my city, the county seat, in the center of my state will be included in the 25th census of the United States. I hope you’ll join me.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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