2020 Census strategy session held in White Center

It happened today at the Technology Access Foundation‘s Bethaday Community Space in White Center. Here’s the King County announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced that former Gov. Gary Locke will be the honorary chair of a community-led effort to ensure a complete, accurate Census count in 2020. Locke oversaw the 2010 Census while serving as Commerce Secretary during the Obama administration.

Executive Constantine announced Gov. Locke’s role at a strategy session King County organized to coordinate efforts by community organizations and philanthropies. King County is convening the effort sooner than it has in the past after the Trump administration announced it will add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which could cause a substantial undercount that would result in a loss of federal and state funding and other impacts.

“While the Trump administration is trying to push people and families into the shadows, we are mobilizing a community-led alliance to ensure that everyone who lives in King County has a voice in the next Census,” said Executive Constantine. “I appreciate Governor Locke offering to help guide this important work that will shape the future of our region, state, and country.”

The results of the decennial Census will have a lasting impact on the region and state. It will determine how many representatives Washington state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, how county and legislative districts will be drawn, and the amount of federal funding local jurisdictions and the state will receive.

The Complete Count Committee will align the work of nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, and county government to connect with communities that have historically been underserved and undercounted, including people of color and people who earn a lower income. The Trump administration’s plan to ask residents to answer questions about their citizenship status creates an even greater need for action.

The committee will apply the same approach that King County used to make the region one of the best Affordable Care Act success stories in the nation. King County created a network of community-based organizations that helped nearly 200,000 people sign up for affordable healthcare during the initial enrollment period, and eventually cut the uninsured rate in King County by more than half. Public Health – Seattle & King County mobilized the same community network to help passengers sign up for ORCA LIFT, the nation’s leading reduced-fare program for passengers who earn a lower income.

The committee convened today will apply the same principles, having outreach teams in communities that are harder to reach by helping people complete the Census during evenings and weekends at different locations, such as cafes, libraries, restaurants, and community centers.

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