Photo provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Last month, we blogged on the various ways the data from the decennial census are used and why it is therefore critically important to make sure everyone in Kentucky is counted in the #2020Census. Spring of 2020 may feel far away, but it takes a lot of planning to achieve an accurate count – planning that can’t start soon enough!
The single best action Kentucky communities can take RIGHT NOW is to form what the Census Bureau refers to as a Complete Count Committee. These committees bring local stakeholders together to educate their community on the importance of the census and strategize how to motivate EVERYONE, but especially hard-to-count populations, to complete their census form.
Locals know their community better than state officials or the federal government. They know what organizations to partner with and how to conduct outreach. They know who residents trust and listen to, and how to connect the census to issues important to their community.
Governor Bevin got the ball rolling by establishing a statewide committee, the Complete Count Task Force, but we also need a committee in each county. Unfortunately, only a handful of Kentucky communities have officially begun Complete Count Committees, although a dozen more are working toward it.
Wondering what you can do with this information? There are two actions you can take right now that can make a big difference for your community come 2020.
- Contact your Mayor and/or County Judge/Executive and ask them to establish a Complete Count Committee before the end of the year. They can do so through Executive Order using this template as a guide. Local officials should notify Kentucky’s Partnership Specialist Michelle Elison at email@example.com so the committee receives training.
- Advocate for your local Complete Count Committee to be all-inclusive, addressing the racial/ethnic, cultural and geographic considerations of your community, and using data on hard-to-count populations in your area to guide targeted outreach. The image below portrays recommended stakeholders, but each community is unique and will have additional members to add.
Here are a few photos from the Complete Count Committee meetings happening around the state.