PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County has received a $39,500 grant to assist efforts to support the 2020 census count and create a committee to reach as many as possible in the community for the count.
The grant funding will assist the county with the creation of a Jefferson County Complete Count Committee, which will be made up of influential members of the community to help reach as many residents as possible, county commission documents said.
The Jefferson Board of County Commissioners heard a report on the census planning from Central Services Director Mark McCauley and county Public Relations Specialist Jeannie McMacken.
The grant allows the county to take over the majority of the census coordination, with support from Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), which received an $80,000 grant, McCauley said. Previously, Jefferson and Clallam counties would partner on their efforts and resources.
“Since OlyCAP got the $80,000 grant and we got the $39,500, the thinking was to probably break away and go at it alone,” McCauley said. “This will be a partnership in developing the Complete Count Committee.”
The county plans to work with OlyCAP and the city of Port Townsend for the 2020 census, McCauley said.
Federal officials are the ones who will conduct the actual count. The committee will be used to help reach as many members of the community as possible in order to get the highest accurate count and to help receive more government funding for having a higher population, said County Administrator Philip Morley.
“The role of the Complete Count Committee is one, to get the word out so people are willing to participate and to be counted,” Morley said. “But for number two is helping the census identify who it is they’re trying to contact to get to participate.”
The census this year is online and will be mailed out, McMacken said.
“You are required by law to respond,” McMaken said. “All of your information will be kept private.”
People interested in joining the Complete Count Committee are encouraged to email McMacken at [email protected].
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].