Gov. Phil Scott signed an executive order Nov. 15 to ensure the accuracy of the 2020 census count.
“A complete count of our population is essential for the fair representation of Vermonters at all levels of government,” said Scott. “The results of the Census inform important decisions of federal and state government, impacting our ability to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable and protect the most vulnerable in all 251 towns.”
The committee will comprise private and public stakeholders across Vermont, including state and municipal government officials, state legislators, community organizations and representatives of populations that are historically undercounted in the Census such as the LQBTQ, elderly, minority, immigrant and homeless communities.
The committee is charged with identifying barriers to full participation in the 2020 Census and developing an outreach action plan to overcome those barriers to ensure as complete a count as possible of Vermont’s population in the 2020 Census.
Outreach strategies will include state and school-based initiatives to encourage Census participation, partnerships with non-profit community-based organizations and a multi-lingual, multi-media campaign. The Committee will also aim to provide resources for Vermonters in “hard-to-count” groups, such as housing placement opportunities for those experiencing homelessness and access to legal resources for undocumented immigrants.
As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau must conduct a confidential count of all people residing in the United States. The results of the Census are used to determine the number of seats for each state in the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislative districts within states and the amount of federal taxpayer dollars returned to states through federal grants and programs.
According to a January 2019 George Washington University report, in 2016, Vermont received about $4,000 per resident in federal funds from 55 federal programs guided by data derived from the 2010 Census.