Complete Count Commission Charged with Ensuring Accurate Count Statewide
NEWARK – Acting Governor Sheila Oliver and Secretary of State Tahesha Way joined New Jersey’s Complete Count Commission in Newark as they marked one year until Census Day, April 1, 2020 and highlighted the importance of a complete 2020 Census count. Local Complete Count Commissions also toured across the state with stops in Jersey City, and Mount Holly.
“The 2020 Census will shape the future of New Jersey, and it will take many hands in every community across the state working together to make it a success,” said Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Governor Murphy and I are proud that for the first time, New Jersey will dedicate the necessary resources through the Complete Count Commission to ensure that each and every resident of our state is counted fairly and accurately.”
“We cannot stress enough the significance of having each and every New Jersey resident counted in the 2020 Census,” said Secretary Way. “An accurate count ensures that New Jersey receives the billions of dollars in federal funding it needs to support our communities, schools, transportation, and other vital programs. It also determines the number of representatives the Garden State sends to Washington to advocate for our residents.”
“As chairperson of the state’s Complete Count Commission, I am working with my fellow commissioners and our counterparts on local complete count committees to spread the word about the Census. We want residents to know the Census is safe, easy and important,” Secretary Way continued.
The Census determines both the number of Congressional seats allotted to each state and how an estimated $675 billion in federal funding is spent each year.
Following the 2010 Census, New Jersey lost one Congressional seat, something Complete Count proponents believe was the result of undercounting the state’s population. In an effort to combat undercounting, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation in August 2018 to create the state’s Complete Count Commission, designed to target hard-to-count populations and ensure an accurate count going into the 2020 census.
“Under the U.S. Constitution, every person in the country must be counted as a part of the Census. Many in low-income, urban, minority populations are undercounted or become statistical ghosts. We can’t let this happen,” said Senator Ron Rice. “It shouldn’t matter whether you’re in jail, whether you’re a part the homeless population, or whether you’re just walking down the street, it is important that every person in New Jersey be counted.”
“It’s imperative that every New Jersey resident is counted in the 2020 Census in order for us to ensure full representation in the decade to come,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. The Census is about much more than counting our State’s population. It impacts our representation in Congress and the future of many federally funded programs. We must do all we can to engage all residents in the census process.”
"Each and every New Jersey resident must be counted and considered for the upcoming 2020 Census,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez. “An inaccurate count in New Jersey will mean that the State will lose out on federal funding for crucial programs that are essential to the our most vulnerable populations. As a Commissioner on the New Jersey Complete Count Commission, I am proud to advocate for an accurate Census Count and I have introduced A-5056, to appropriate $9,000,000 to the Complete Count Commission, so that the full resources needed for a complete count are available. The Census is extremely important for communities with hard-to count populations and I look forward to continued work with my colleagues and stakeholder groups across the state to make sure New Jersey is not left behind."
“It’s critical that as many people as possible—from all walks of life—are represented in the Census,” said Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter. “If they are not included, they can’t truly have a voice. If they don’t have a voice, they can’t be heard. If they are not heard, they are not always adequately advocated for and represented. Today is the start of the count commission work in concert with community participation in making sure every single person is accounted for in Census 2020.”
“Newark gets one chance every ten years to count every single person in our city,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “Every single person in our community is critical to the Census process and plays a significant role in assuring an accurate count.”
“In preparation for Census 2020, the City of Newark will be dedicating the first week of April to getting the word out. Each day for seven days beginning April 1st, the city will be involved in an action or will host an event dedicated to increasing public awareness and getting support for Census,” Mayor Baraka continued. “We are grateful to Acting Governor Oliver and Secretary of State Way for joining us and for recognizing not only the upcoming Census but also the importance of each resident of Newark.”
The Commission, made up of elected officials, community leaders, and business people from across the state, is charged with developing a strategy to make sure the public is aware of the Census and why completing it is crucial to New Jersey’s future. Communities across the state have formed their own Complete Count Committees, which will play a vital role in the effort to spread information about the census.
Community groups and members of the public have had the opportunity to share their concerns about the 2020 Census with the Complete Count Commission during public meetings held in Newark and Paterson. A third public meeting is scheduled for April 24 in Camden.
Other members of the state’s Complete Count Commission also participated in events in Paterson and Perth Amboy.
To learn more about New Jersey’s Complete Count Commission, visit https://www.state.nj.us/state/njcounts.shtml
To learn more about the U.S. Census Bureau, visit https://www.census.gov/