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Government & Politics

Census Committee Starts Working Now to Preserve Funding, Representation

photo of Emilia Sykes, Dan Horrigan, Ilene Shapiro, Tavia Galonski
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU
State Rep. Emilia Sykes joined Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and State Rep. Tavia Galonski to announce the Complete Count Committee.

The City of Akron today announced a coalition to make sure everyone in the city is counted in the 2020 census.

Officials say Akron’s population could affect federal funding for a number of programs and even representation in Washington. Population losses are expected to cost Ohio a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Officials in Akron say getting an accurate count here could help prevent that seat from being in Northeast Ohio.

The Complete Count Committee includes elected officials as well as business leaders who want to make sure everyone in the city mails back the self-response census surveys that will go out in two years.

Rose Simmons is with the Philadelphia office of the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes Ohio in its nine-state region. She says it’s important to get an accurate count since so much federal funding is tied to population.

“Federal school breakfast and lunch program to highway funding, school nurses, urgent care centers, Head Start funding. All based upon census data.”

Simmons adds that several cities in Ohio have also formed Complete Count Committees, including Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus.