Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Announces $500,000 in State Funding to Maximize Participation in the 2020 Census
State allocation to be matched by additional $500,000 in private funding
(Hartford, CT)— Today, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Office of Policy and Management (OPM) Secretary Melissa McCaw announced the state of Connecticut has identified $500,000 within existing and available appropriations across state agencies to aid in efforts to complete the 2020 Census.
As part of these efforts, agencies that receive federal funding affected by census data—the Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Office of Early Childhood, and Department of Public Health—will be using existing relationships and funding to help with the census efforts, including getting people on the ground in hard-to-count communities, helping with outreach and communications, and translating pamphlets and key documents across the languages spoken in Connecticut.
“Connecticut receives $10.7 billion of federal aid per year based on census data and we cannot risk losing that funding,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “In addition to all the grassroots work being done by Complete Count Committees at the local level, these state funds, matched by private funding from our philanthropic partners, will help ensure that Connecticut continues to receive that critical federal funding. I am grateful to Governor Lamont, OPM Secretary McCaw, and the philanthropic organizations for their commitment to ensure a complete count in the 2020 Census.”
“Responding to the 2020 Census is safe, easy, and important,” Secretary of State Merrill said. “The census determines how much federal funding Connecticut receives, and it directly impacts our voice and our representation in Washington and in Hartford. Whether your respond to the census online, by mail, by phone, or in person, it's vital that you participate and make Connecticut count.”
“We need to remove as many barriers as possible to ensure our state’s residents have the ability to complete their census forms,” OPM Secretary McCaw said. “This initial investment will empower individuals already in hard-to-count communities to increase our outreach efforts, enhance education and comfort with the process, and ease access through translations of relevant documents. A true, accurate, and complete count of our population will make certain we are fairly represented, receive our share of federal funding, and will aid the state with invaluable data.”
The state funding announced today will be matched by an additional $500,000 in private funding by various philanthropic foundations throughout the state in order to reach hard-to-count areas and address the needs of those communities to have a full and complete count.
The community foundations supporting the $500,000 include: The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, The Greater New Britain Community Foundation, The Connecticut Community Foundation (Waterbury), and the Eastern Connecticut Community Foundation.
“We collectively believe that it is both urgent and essential, that every resident of Connecticut is counted in the 2020 Census,” said Jay Williams, President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. “This funding is a step in the right direction, but we all have a vested interest in ensuring that additional and adequate resources are deployed to leave no one uncounted.”
On February 4, 2019, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz launched the Connecticut Complete Count Committee (CCCC) to inform and help direct the State's efforts in the upcoming 2020 Census. Nearly 20 percent of Connecticut communities are considered “hard-to-count” therefore, it is extremely important that everyone work to analyze previous census undercounts and recommend strategies to ensure a full count.
The Connecticut Complete Count Committee is an advisory panel of community leaders who represent diverse populations from across the state including elected officials, faith leaders, community health centers, chambers of commerce, community activists, and heads of housing authorities. Similar to the state-wide committee, over 100 Local Complete Count Committees have been formed in cities and towns.
The 2020 Census will be the first time residents can fill out their census form online. They can also be completed via mail or phone. Many of Connecticut’s public libraries will be providing the resources necessary for residents to complete their census.