“It’s really important to make sure that whether its family or education or high tech, or whatever, that Minnesota does fairly well and gets what we deserve,” said Circle Pines Mayor Dave Bartholomay.
But Bartholomay and his fellow city council members were not just passive observers in the whole Census process. Council member Dean Goldberg worked for years to get out the word to Minnesotans to participate in the decennial count, and even donned a cape and mask to become Census Man. Regional efforts like that may have helped push Minnesota to the highest response rate in the nation, and that could be what helped save the seat in Congress.
“There’s an old saying that says three-quarters of what you do in a political campaign is a total waste of time, but you don’t know what three-quarters (of the total) it is,” said Bartholomay. “So you really have to do everything.”
Circle Pines fell just below an important population threshold in 2010. Communities with more than 5,000 residents qualify for key state funding to help pay for roads and other infrastructure needs.
The new city-by-city population results from 2020 will be released later this summer, and after that states will have to make decisions about re-districting of legislative districts.
“At the end of the day, it reminds you: every vote counts, every person counted in that Census made a big difference, and I think Minnesota should be pretty proud of the work they did,” said Bartholomay.