Governor Establishes the Ohio Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census

 
Governor Establishes the Ohio Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census

Thursday, April 16th, 2009



COLUMBUS – . . . “The data collected during the 2010 Census will be used to distribute more than $300 billion dollars in federal funds each year to states and local communities and determine Ohio’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives during the next decade.”

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today signed an executive order that establishes the Ohio Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census and names State Treasurer Kevin Boyce to serve as chair.

As chair of the Ohio Complete Count Committee, Boyce will lead the effort to raise public awareness on the 2010 Census and to work with local communities to ensure Ohio receives appropriate funding levels from the federal government.

“It is critical that we have an accurate count of every individual living in Ohio,” Strickland said. “We are encouraging all Ohioans to actively engage in this important process.”

The data collected during the 2010 Census will be used to distribute more than $300 billion dollars in federal funds each year to states and local communities and determine Ohio’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives during the next decade.

Ohio state agencies, including the Departments of Job and Family Services, Education, Health, Aging and the Board of Regents (higher education), received more than $13 billion in federal resources from census based-formula awards in the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, based on an assessment of Ohio Office of Budget and Management data.

“As the agency entrusted with protecting the people’s money, it is critical to the Ohio Treasury that we have an accurate count of Ohio residents,” said Treasurer Kevin Boyce. “This will allow us to ensure that hard-working Ohioans receive each and every federal dollar they deserve so that we can make these funds work on their behalf.”

“Kevin’s effective management skills and diverse background will be hugely beneficial in our efforts to reach every Ohio resident,” Strickland said. “He shares my administration’s commitment to ensuring that Ohio receives its fair share of federal funding and representation.”

Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Development, Mark Barbash, will serve as Vice Chair of the Committee.

An online interactive census Web site, www.census.ohio.gov, has also been established to serve citizens and local communities by providing additional information regarding the 2010 Census and offering ways to partner with the Complete Count Committee.

Timeline for the 2010 Census

During the months of February and March 2010, census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to each household throughout Ohio. These forms are due to be returned by mail by Census Day, which is April 1, 2010. The short forms take only minutes to fill out, but will have an impact on Ohio’s future for the next 10 years.

Between April and July 2010, census takers will visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail. In December 2010, the Census Bureau will deliver population counts to the President of the United States for apportionment, the process of proportionately dividing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states.

Information obtained by Census Bureau employees is kept with strict confidentiality. Census Bureau employees have taken an oath to protect confidentiality and are subject to a jail term, fine – or both – for disclosing any information that could identify a respondent of a household. Census workers must also pass security and employment reference checks.

About the Census

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is conducted every 10 years as mandated by the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 2. The census serves as the instrument for measuring the nation’s population. Changes have occurred periodically in the way in which data is collected for the census. Listed below are several important changes to the 2010 Census:

  • 2010 Census will be short form only-just 10 easy questions
  • The long form is now part of the annual American Community Survey
  • Handheld computers with Global Positioning System will be used to verify the address list in 2009

Besides determining congressional seats and federal funding, census data also serves other important purposes that directly impact Ohio. The federal government uses population data to allocate funds in a number of areas:

  • Title 1 grants to educational agencies (school districts across the nation)
  • Head Start programs
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (food grants)
  • Public transportation
  • Road rehabilitation and construction
  • Programs for the elderly
  • Emergency food and shelter
  • Empowerment zones

The federal government has estimated efforts to conduct the 2010 Census will create 10,000-15,000 jobs in Ohio, and will establish a regional office in each of Ohio’s 18 congressional districts to assist in outreach efforts.

In addition to the 2010 federal budget allocation, approximately $1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources will be used to support Census activities, for example: to open local census offices, support additional staff, collect census information, finalize data capture, and launch a national advertising campaign. Ohio intends to advocate for a share of these resources to support state and local Complete Count Committee efforts.

Full text of the executive order is below:

Executive Order 2009-06S

Establishing the Ohio Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census

1. The National Census to be Conducted in 2010 Will Have Direct Economic and Policy Impacts on Ohioans. The federal government is required by the United States Constitution to count the number of people living in the United States and its territories every ten years. Census data are used by the federal government to allocate more than $300 billion of federal funds to state and local governments each year. Census data are also used to determine the number of representatives each state will have in the United States House of Representatives and to draw the lines for Congressional districts.

2. It is Vital to the Interest of Ohioans that All People Living in Ohio be Counted in the 2010 Census. It is imperative that the census count in Ohio be complete and accurate to ensure that Ohio receives appropriate representation in the United States House of Representatives and the correct amount of federal funding. Individual Ohioans play an important role in the counting process. The most effective way to ensure a complete and efficient count is for all households to respond to the short questionnaires that will be mailed in spring 2010. To count people who may be missed by the mailings, the Census Bureau will set up “Be Counted Sites” where census forms will be available, and Census Bureau employees will go door-to-door in some areas. All people living anywhere in Ohio, whatever their age, ethnicity, citizenship or economic circumstance, must be reached and made aware how important it is for them to be counted.

3. The Ohio Complete Count Committee is being Established to Lead the Effort for the State to Raise Awareness of the 2010 Census and to Encourage All People Living in Ohio to Participate in the Counting Process. I hereby order the creation of the Ohio Complete Count Committee (the “Committee”), which shall work with local Complete Count Committees, Census Partners, community-based organizations and other local and regional entities to design and undertake an awareness and outreach campaign to educate people about the importance of the census and to increase timely and accurate response. The Committee shall also help develop strategies to reach those people living in Ohio who have historically been undercounted or who are difficult to reach due to their location or otherwise. The Committee shall endeavor to identify the most cost-effective approaches to achieving its goals and may solicit financial and in-kind support for the activities it recommends be undertaken.

4. The Ohio Complete Count Committee will be Representative of Ohio’s Diverse Geography and Communities. The Committee shall be comprised of members appointed by me who have the knowledge, expertise, ability and willingness to reach people living in their communities, to raise awareness of the 2010 Census and to maximize the response by people living in Ohio. Members of the Committee will include representatives of local government, schools, community organizations, faith-based organizations and individuals with experience in communications and grass-roots initiatives. I may appoint additional members as needed to fulfill the mission of the Committee. Members of the Committee shall also include:

a. The Treasurer of the State of Ohio, who shall serve as Chair of the Committee;

b. The Director of the Ohio Department of Development, who shall serve as Vice-Chair of the Committee and act on behalf of the

Chair in his absence;

c. The Directors of the Ohio Departments of Transportation, Health, Job & Family Services, and Aging, the Office of Budget and Management and the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Superintendent of Public Education, and the Chancellor of the Board of Regents or their respective designees;

d. One member appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and one member appointed by the Minority

Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives; and

e. One member appointed by the President of the Ohio Senate and one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Ohio

Senate.

5. Governance. The first meeting of the Committee will be held not later than June 1, 2009. Thereafter, the Chair will call meetings of the Committee as needed. The Committee may establish subcommittees as it finds necessary and useful to facilitate the work of the Committee. The Chair, in consultation with me, will designate the members of any subcommittees, and the members of such subcommittees need not be members of the full Committee. The Committee shall, from time to time, report to me and to the General Assembly a summary of its activities. The Committee shall complete its work and submit a final report not later than December 31, 2010. The Department of Development shall provide administrative support for the Committee.

6. Compensation. Members of the Committee will not be compensated for their participation on the Committee. Committee members may, however, be reimbursed consistent with Executive Orders previously issued and in effect for any reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in conducting the business of the Committee.

7. I signed this Executive Order on April 9, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio, and it will expire on December 31, 2010 unless it is earlier rescinded.

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