Harrisburg, PA — Common Cause Pennsylvania applauds Governor Tom Wolf’s new executive order, which appoints a commission to ensure an accurate and fair count of Pennsylvania residents in the 2020 Census. According to the Governor’s order, the mission of the new commission will be to recommend ways to achieve the most complete and accurate Census count in 2020, including implementing proven strategies to “reach hard-to-count populations and hard-to-enumerate areas.”
“We applaud Gov. Wolf’s creation of a Pennsylvania Census Complete Count Committee by executive order. But Pennsylvania’s state policymakers, business leaders, faith leaders, community leaders and ordinary Pennsylvanians need to engage in census education and outreach,” said Common Cause PA Executive Director Micah Sims. “The next Census is less than two years away and Congress is making decisions about how the count will be funded and completed. Meanwhile, this past spring, the Trump administration proposed a reckless budget that shortchanges the Census Bureau,” added Sims.
An accurate Census 2020 count is essential to the full funding of federal assistance programs and services that many Pennsylvanians rely on. These programs and services include Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, school construction, special education grants, foster care, affordable housing, and highway planning and construction.
Good data from a complete count will allow Pennsylvania’s elected officials and social service organizations to address disparities in the state’s healthcare delivery, transportation services and law enforcement.
The governor’s community approach to achieving a full count of Pennsylvania’s residents is a great first step.
PA Governor Wolf’s executive order may be found here: https://www.oa.pa.gov/Policies/eo/Documents/2018-05.pdf