The 2020 Complete Count Committee held its first meeting on Monday, April 1st.
Annapolis, Md (KM) It’s almost 2020 Census time, and Maryland is getting ready. The Complete Count Committee, which was established in February, 2019 by executive order from the Governor, is charged with doing outreach to residents to make sure they fill out the Census forms they receive in the mail, and send them back.
“We’re going to coordinate with the local complete count committees at both the county and the municipal level, and we’re going to make sure that people understand that the US Census is important, that it’s easy and it’s safe,” says Rod McCord, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, and a member of the state 2020 Complete Count Committee.
For that purpose, the state is providing $4.1-million to local governments and non-profit organizations to get them to encourage their citizens to participate in the US Census count. Frederick County is expected to receive $80,000, according to the State Planning Department.
McCord says an accurate count is important so that Maryland receives its fair share of federal dollars. “The United States Government will deliver money, basically. There’s $675-billion worth of federal funding that’s allocated based on Census count. And making sure Maryland gets its fair share of that is important for us,” he says.
For every Marylander not counted, it’s estimated to cost the state $18,250 per person in unaccessed federal funds, according to the State Planning Department. Those funds could go to important federal programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Children Health Insurance Program.
McCord says efforts will be made to reach citizens among in the low count populations, such as minority communities and children with small children. “We’re going to try to reaching trusted voices in their neighborhoods and recruiting them to pass the message on. . In addition, we;re going to try to meet them where they are, and meet them in their own language, if possible,” he says.
“The official counting begins April 1st, 2020, We have a leap year so we have one extra day, and we’re going to make that one extra day count,” says McCord.
By Kevin McManus