Planning is underway in Harford County for the 2020 Census, which will determine how $675 billion in federal funds are distributed to support communities nationwide. Mandated every ten years by the U.S. Constitution, the census counts every person living in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The 2020 Census will begin in Maryland on April 1, 2020.
Although the census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, state and local planning officials are responsible for raising awareness through a Complete Count Committee with an emphasis on reaching hard-to-reach populations. Committee members are drawn from local organizations including government, schools, libraries, nonprofits, and the faith-based community.
The Harford County Complete Count Committee, comprised of volunteers appointed by the county executive, will be co-chaired by Jenny King, deputy director of planning and zoning for Harford County government, and Melynda Velez, executive director of the nonprofit LASOS, which serves the non-English speaking community. The committee held an initial meeting on Oct. 24, and launched a dedicated webpage on the Harford County government website, https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/2758/Census-2020. The webpage hosts outreach materials and other resources to prepare for the 2020 Census this spring.
“Harford County residents understand the importance of the census,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “Our response rate in 2010 was high at 81%, but that still meant a loss of nearly $13 million in funding for our county. For the 2020 Census, we are planning now to help ensure everyone living here is counted for federal funds that support our roads, schools, fire companies, hospitals and other vital services. These are funds that all of our residents need and deserve.”