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Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order to Ensure Full, Accurate 2020 Census Count Gov. appoints commission to work with communities across the state to “Make NC Count.” Potentially billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional seat at stake for NC

Raleigh

Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order 79 to establish the North Carolina Complete Count Commission and named members to the Commission to help achieve the most accurate and complete count of North Carolina’s residents in the upcoming decennial census in 2020.

“The census count impacts every North Carolinian because it will shape critical decisions for our state from the number of people who represent us in Congress, to the amount of federal funds for education, health care and infrastructure, to the data-driven decisions government, businesses and non-profits make,” said Governor Cooper. “I appreciate these Commission members stepping up to work with community leaders and partners across the state to encourage a full and fair count of all our residents--from our biggest cities to our smallest, rural communities. The upcoming census is a huge opportunity for our state and we want to make sure everyone in North Carolina counts.”

Established by the United States Constitution in 1790 and reoccurring every 10 years, the census will determine how the federal government distributes $400 billion in funding, including an estimated $16 billion for critical community services, housing, economic development, and other needs and services in North Carolina. The census also determines the state’s number of congressional districts and representatives; North Carolina received an additional congressional seat following the 2000 Census by a margin of fewer than 1,000 residents and is predicted to gain another seat after the 2020 Census.

 “It’s vital that North Carolina’s data snapshot includes all residents so we don’t miss out on billions of dollars in federal funding for much-needed programs and provide accurate information to guide decisions by the public and private sectors,” said N.C. Department of Administration Secretary and Commission Chair Machelle Sanders. “All communities in North Carolina deserve to be counted and we want to make sure they will be.”

The Commission will coordinate North Carolina’s involvement with the census, helping the U.S. Census Bureau to recruit North Carolinians to be census workers, educate the public about the importance of the census, develop partnerships with public and private sectors to achieve an accurate count, and create a strategy to reach historically hard-to-count populations, including young children, low-income individuals, military personnel, non-native English speakers, minorities, and rural residents.

“More than 100 federal programs use data collected during census counts as part of their formulas to distribute billions of dollars in federal funding to the states,” said N.C. Census Liaison Bob Coats. “Those are important programs for many North Carolinians and include Medicaid, Medicare Part B, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Highway Planning and Construction, Title 1 Grants to Local Education Agencies, and more.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people will have multiple ways to respond to the upcoming decennial census in more than 13 languages. North Carolina residents will have the opportunity to be counted online using personal computers or mobile devices, by telephone through questionnaire assistance centers or by using the traditional paper-response option. All North Carolinians can help “make NC count” on Census Day, which is conducted April 1, 2020. For more information, visit North Carolina’s U.S. Census website at census.nc.gov.

The North Carolina Complete Count Commission convenes its first meeting on October 23, 2018, 10:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M., in the Albemarle Building Room 245, 325 N. Salisbury St., in Raleigh. Gov. Cooper has appointed members to the commission who represent business, community and nonprofit organizations, education, faith-based, health care and government sectors. 

To date, the Governor has appointed the following North Carolinians to the Commission:

  • Aidil Ortiz of Durham as a member at-large. Ortiz is the Program officer at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. She is a board member for the NC Alliance for Health as well as a commissioner in the Durham Biking and Pedestrian Commission for the City of Durham. Ortiz has been awarded the Youth Advocate of the Year Award with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
  • Al Austin of Charlotte as a member at-large. Austin is a former Charlotte City Councilman representing Council District 2 of north and northwest Charlotte. In 2017, Austin was appointed as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Outreach Director for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 
  • Allison Riggs of Durham as a member at-large. Riggs is the senior staff attorney in voting rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Riggs regularly represents grassroots community organizations across the South in their advocacy and struggle for equal political participation. 
  • Carolyn L. Smith of Garner as a member at-large. Smith has been a Senior State Director for Working America since 2013. Previously she has worked as the Deputy Treasurer for the NC Department of State Treasurer and as a Deputy District Director for the Office of Congressman Bob Etheridge. 
  • Donna Tipton-Rogers of Brasstown as a member at-large. Tipton-Rogers is currently the President of Tri-County Community. Tipton-Rogers serves as the Co-Chair for the North Carolina Task Force on Rural Health and as the Vice-Chair for the Legislative Committee for the NC Community College System Presidents Association. 
  • Dr. Denauvo Robinson of Elizabeth City as a member at-large. Robinson works as the President and CEO of Albemarle Alliance for Children and Families, Inc. Robinson serves as Vice-Chair on the Pasquotank County Board of Education. 
  • Dr. Harry Ghee of Fayetteville as a member at-large. Ghee currently works as the Academic Dean for the Carolina College of Biblical Studies. Ghee has served on the North Carolina Council of Churches and on the Cumberland County Board of Consumer Credit Counseling. 
  • Greg Richardson of Raleigh as a member at-large. Richardson works as the Executive Director for the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Richardson is a member of the National Congress of American Indians and the American Indian Center Advisory Board for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  • Heather Strickland of Raleigh as a member at-large. Strickland is the Communications and Development Director for the North Carolina Partnership for Children. Strickland was previously the Director for Communications for the NC Department of State Treasurer and she currently serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Raleigh Little Theatre. 
  • James Cofield of Duck as a member at-large. Cofield is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cofield Properties, Inc. Cofield served as a Director, First Vice President, and member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. 
  • John Wei of Raleigh as a member at-large. Wei has thirty years of experience in information technology and has served as the Chairman of the Chinese-American Economic and Cultural Association (CAECA). Wei is also a Governor-appointed Board of Trustee member of the North Carolina Rate Bureau. 
  • Kevin McLaughlin of Raleigh as a member at-large. McLaughlin is the Policy Director for the US Government and Education practice at SAS. McLaughlin previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s Office and before that as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Department of Administration. 
  • Kim Mitchell of Durham as a member at-large. Mitchell is the Director for Student Development & ASG Advisor for the UNC System. Mitchell previously worked as the Assistant Director for Leadership Education at Appalachian State University. 
  • Machelle Sanders of Cary as Chair. Sanders is the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Administration. Previously, Sanders worked as the Vice President of Manufacturing and General Manager of Biogen in the Research Triangle Park. 
  • Maytee Sanz of Charlotte as a member at-large. Sanz is a homemaker. She previously owned FJ Construction and JAP Construction. Sanz is a former Vice Chair of the Hispanic-American Democrats of North Carolina. 
  • Pam Hemminger of Chapel Hill as a member at-large. Hemminger serves as the Mayor of Chapel Hill. Hemminger also owns Windaco Properties LLC, a small commercial property firm. 
  • Rabbi Lucy Dinner of Raleigh as a member at-large. Rabbi Dinner has served as the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Or since 1993. She is the Chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Peace and Justice Committee, and the Vice Chair of the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Commission on Social Action. In the Raleigh community, she is on the Board of Rise Against Hunger and is a long-term member of the Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee.
  • Rep. Amos Quick of Greensboro as a member at-large. Quick currently represents the 58th District for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Quick is also a Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in High Point, NC. 
  • Rep. Cody Henson of Brevard as a member at-large. Henson currently represents the 113th District for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Henson served his country for six years in the US Marine Corps Reserve. 
  • Sai Sudhini of Morrisville as a member at-large. Sudhini currently manages IT Software application development teams for the City of Raleigh. Sudhini has also worked for Capital One, in Richmond, Virginia and for the USPS in Raleigh, North Carolina. 
  • Sen. Deanna Ballard of Blowing Rock as a member at-large. Ballard represents the 45th District in the North Carolina Senate. Ballard also works as the Director of the Office of the President for the Samaritan’s Purse & Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. 
  • Sen. Erica Smith of Henrico as a member at-large. Smith represents the 3rd District in the North Carolina Senate. Smith also has worked as a secondary math instructional specialist and as a materials engineer. 
  • Wayne Bostick of Raleigh as a member at-large. Bostick is now retired and holds the positions of Vice President of the NC State Chapter APRI and Board Chair of the newly formed North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Education Fund. He has served on the committees for Project Homeless Connect in Durham; Point in Time Court in Durham; and the Bull City Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.
  • Whitney Tucker of Raleigh as a member at-large. Tucker serves as Research Director for NC Child, where she leads the agency’s child well-being research initiatives and provides actionable analysis of public policies. Previously, she spent four years working as a Policy and Research Associate at Children’s Trust of South Carolina.

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