CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice issued an Executive Order today, officially establishing the West Virginia Complete Count Commission; which will serve to assist the United States Census Bureau in conducting the 2020 Census.
The Commission will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and have two main objectives: to educate and encourage full participation by the citizens of West Virginia in the 2020 Census and to develop plans and strategies to reach isolated groups or areas that typically do not respond to the Census.
The Executive Order also establishes the members of the Commission:
- The Governor, or his designee, who will serve as Chair of the Commission
- The Secretary of State, or his designee
- United States Senator Joe Manchin, or his designee
- United States Senator Shelley Moore Capito, or her designee
- United States Congressman David McKinley, or his designee
- United States Congressman Alex Mooney, or his designee
- United States Congresswoman Carol Miller, or her designee
- The President of the West Virginia Senate, or his designee
- The Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, or his designee
- The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his designee
- The Executive Director of Minority Affairs, or her designee
- The West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, or his designee
- The President of Marshall University, or his designee
- The President of West Virginia University, or his designee
- The Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration at the Higher Education Policy Commission
- The President of the United Way of Central West Virginia and Chair of the United Way West Virginia
- The President of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and West Virginia Association of Commerce Executives
- The President and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia
- The Executive Director of the West Virginia Nonprofit Association
- The Executive Director of Volunteer West Virginia
- The Executive Director of the West Virginia Municipal League
- The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Designee
- The Regional CEO of American Red Cross
- The Executive Director West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition
- The West Virginia State Deputy Commander for American Legion
- The Commander for The Salvation Army
- The VFW Junior Vice Commander
- Such other members as may be appointed from time to time
The Executive Order establishes that the Commission will meet at least quarterly, and as often as required to fulfill its objectives.
The Commission may establish subcommittees as it deems necessary and convenient.
By Jan. 1, 2020, the Commission will provide a preliminary report to the Governor with the status of the 2020 Census efforts and recommendations on additional steps to achieve a complete count of the State's population.
A complete and accurate count of West Virginia's population is vital to the State, because it will determine the number of representatives in the United States House of Representatives apportioned to West Virginia, as well as the federal formula grant allocations and State redistricting for the next ten years until the next decennial Census.
After the Census takes place, the Commission will provide a final report by July 1, 2021, summarizing its activities and suggesting improvements for the 2030 decennial Census.
In addition to this Commission, several municipalities across West Virginia have also been establishing their own "Complete Count" Task Forces. During the previous US Census in 2010, there were more than 10,000 such groups across the country.