Although we are still in 2018, 2020 will be here before we know it. And that means we need to get ready for the 2020 Census now.
The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct a national census every 10 years. Census data is used to inform the makeup of congressional districts. It determines how much of the $400B in federal funding for schools, roads and critical government services such as Head Start, Medicare, school breakfast programs, etc. will flow to Alexandria. It also guides planning decisions for businesses and civic leaders.
Although the census strives to count everyone, some people are left out. Many communities in Alexandria are among the most undercounted in Northern Virginia. To make the Census as accurate as possible, the U.S. Census Bureau partners with local governments to establish complete count committees to encourage residents to participate in the Census. The City of Alexandria complete count committee will work with city staff to develop and implement an outreach strategy focused on engaging with communities that have been historically undercounted or underrepresented.
This is your chance to participate! Applications or nominations are being sought for members representing community-based organizations and nonprofits, neighborhood civic associations, or any organizations that could assist in this effort. The City is seeking committee members who have experience working with foreign born residents, low-income communities, and families with children under five, have knowledge of how these communities perceive government entities, work directly with or are trusted messengers in these communities, and/or can speak Amharic, Spanish or Arabic in addition to English.
The first meeting of the Committee is anticipated to be held in March 2019, with monthly meetings occurring throughout 2019 and bimonthly meetings occurring between January 2020 and April 2020.
The deadline to submit an application to join the Complete Count Committee is 5 p.m. on November 7. To submit an application, or for more information about the Complete Count Committee and the U.S. Census 2020, visit alexandriava.gov/Census2020.
-By Heather Peeler, ACT President & CEO