FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin joined members of the 2020 Census State Task Force, a bipartisan delegation of state legislators, and stakeholder groups Tuesday in Frankfort to encourage statewide participation in the 2020 U.S. census.
“The decennial U.S. census is a vital undertaking that directly impacts each state’s legislative representation as well as the allocation of federal funds and governmental services,” said Gov. Bevin. “Every single person’s life is only made better by being counted. It’s as simple as that. Through the hard work of Kentuckians across the state, I am confident that we will see increased awareness and maximum participation in the 2020 Census.”
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years for the purposes of assigning delegates to the United States Congress, as the number of representatives assigned to each state is dependent on the state’s population.
“We cannot overemphasize how important the census count is,” said Rep. George Brown. “The census is used for representation, from children to adults. Lines are drawn so that people will be able to vote and elect representatives. Let’s get to work and make sure that we take care of the business we need to take care of, for the future of our state.”
As Kentucky prepares for the 2020 census, Gov. Bevin and stakeholders encourage communities to form Complete Count Committees (CCCs), which will localize and unify census efforts. CCCs leverage local knowledge, influence, resources and trusted voices to educate communities, leading their counties to a successful census count.
“The census count is not only a picture of where we’ve been, but also gives an indication of where we’re going as a state,” said Rep. Jerry Miller. “The count tells America who we are, creating a snapshot of Kentucky at this present time for future generations. Let’s work together to ensure the Complete Count Committee process creates a complete and accurate record of the commonwealth.”
Along with assigning congressional delegates, census data is also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.
“The bottom line of a complete count is the bottom line for Kentucky’s budget,” said Terry Brooks, director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “The more complete the count, the more resources the commonwealth can invest in core areas like child care, foster care, early childhood and K-12 education. Tackling the census with a focus on getting every kid counted creates a guaranteed return on effort.”
As committees are formed and plans are made to carry out the 2020 census, Gov. Bevin, legislators, and stakeholders agree that education is key.
“We only get this opportunity every 10 years, so it is important that we utilize this moment to shape Kentucky’s future,” said Erran Persley, executive director of International Affairs and Business Development for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “When community members are informed about the census, they are more likely to participate and respond, which is why CCCs across the nation are so important. The success of the 2020 census in Kentucky will be based on how well we can coordinate our state, local governments and community organizations to ensure that everyone is counted.”
For more information on the 2020 U.S. census, visit census.gov.