It’s reaching out to encourage all residents to fill out their Census forms.
Annapolis, Md (KM) It will soon be time to stand up and be counted. Maryland’s Complete Count Committee has been getting out the word out about the 2020 Census. :”A Complete Count Committee has been working and meeting month after month and they’re trying to make sure that all of the Complete Count Committees that we’ve got established in all the counties in Maryland are actually starting their work also, ” says Rob McCord, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning.
The Complete Count Committee was established by Governor Larry Hogan by an executive order in February, 2019. The CCC is assisting the state in achieving a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census. The Planning Department says in statement that the Committee is developing and implementing an engagement and outreach plan to build partnerships and coordinate with local government throughout the state.
The 2020 Census count determines Maryland’s representation in Congress, and it makes sure the state receives its fair share of funding for federal programs. He says it’s important for citizens to fill out the Census forms they receive in the mail; don’t toss them in the trash. “If only one person decides to throw it in the trash can, it will cost the state about $18, 250 over a ten-year period based on a non-response and the amount of federal funding that’s made available to the state,” he says.
In addition, a lot of these federal programs benefit those who are less well off. “The insidious thing about an undercount ends up being that some of the people that benefit most from the programs are in fact people who are not counted or won’t respond. And that’s what we’re trying to avoid here,” says McCord.
In addition to the paper forms, McCord says citizens can also answer their Census questions on line. “And since this is the first time that an on line response is being available in the census process, the library is gearing up to make sure they have the ability to help people respond to the Census by using the library’s computers,” he says.
Residents will also be able to answer their Census questions over the phone.
There’s been a national debate about whether the Census should include a question about whether a respondent is a US citizen. Despite that, McCord says the Complete Count Committee will continue with its work. “The issue ends up being ultimately that we have a responsibility to count everyone in Maryland as accurately as possible,” he says. “In a sense, that responsibility doesn’t change regardless of what questions are on the form.”
US Census day is April 1st, 2020.
By Kevin McManus