Provided by Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has announced the launch of “Count the Region.” This is an initiative dedicated to getting out the count for the 2020 Decennial Census in Northern Virginia. The initiative will ensure that everyone living in the region is counted, counted once, and counted in the right place.
Many large federal assistance programs distribute funds to states based solely on decennial census-driven statistics. This includes such programs as highway planning and construction, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, special education grants, the National School Lunch Program, Section 8 housing assistance, foster care, Medicaid, Title 1 grants to local education agencies, Head Start, and many other programs that support and sustain the social and civil fabric of our community. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that for every individual in Virginia who is not counted, we will lose $2,000 per year for 10 years, or $20,000, in federal assistance program allocations.
Aware of the financial implications of an undercount, the Community Foundation will hire a dedicated director to drive and manage Count the Region. This individual will launch a regional complete count committee for Northern Virginia, and help convene, support and collaborate with all Northern Virginia jurisdictions that launch their own complete count committees.
“There are a number of ways Count the Region will make a positive difference for Northern Virginia,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. “It will help educate Northern Virginians about the importance of being counted. It will support our local jurisdictions with their own complete count committees. It will be a source of information for the region on Census activities and timelines. In short, it will help energize our community around this important endeavor that has profound implications in our region for the next 10 years.”