Census 2020

Shown, from left, are Councilman Ricky Mayes, Councilwoman Patty Wininger, Vice Mayor Jimmy Peters, Teresa Woodward of the U.S. Census Bureau, City Manager Kim Meek, Mayor Ritchie Dennington and Councilman Mike Nelson after Dennington proclaimed the city of Duncan as a partner of the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau.

Mayor Ritchie Dennington proclaimed that Duncan will partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct a complete and accurate count for the 2020 decennial census.

The goal of the 2020 census, according to census.gov, “is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place.”

The proclamation, read by the mayor, touched on key aspects the census provides to a community.

Dennington, in his proclamation, said, “An accurate census account is vital to our community and residents’ well being.”

Dennington said an accurate and complete census count helps planners determine where schools, day care centers, roads, public transportation, hospitals and other facilities are needed in a community. Additionally, it allows in making decisions related to business growth and housing needs, he said.

“More than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to states and communities,” he said.

It also ensures a fair congressional representation by determining how many seats each state will receive in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also is “necessary for redistricting the state legislatures, county and city officials and voting districts,” he said.

The census, according to Dennington’s proclamation, will create jobs and “stimulates economic growth and employment opportunities in our community.”

“I hereby designate and proclaim the city of Duncan, Oklahoma, committed to partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure a fill and accurate count in 2020,” he said.

Teresa Woodward, with the census bureau, accepted the proclamation.

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, City Manager Kim Meek asked the mayor and council to pass a resolution supporting the U.S. Census Bureau by creating a Census 2020 “Complete Count Committee” to provide the city with assistance and advice in obtaining the most accurate and complete population count in the upcoming decennial census.

““The Department of Community Development, serving as a point of contact for the United States Census Bureau, has been approached to help address and obtain the most accurate census count possible for the city of Duncan in 2020,” Meek said. “As part of this process, the U.S. Census Bureau has asked that the city of Duncan form a complete count committee through adoption of this resolution that will serve as an advisory committee to the city of Duncan to help reach those residents of the community that are often difficult to count or in the past have been undercounted.”

Meek also said the committee, when created and filled, will serve as an educational tool for the public.

“The committee serves as a means to educating our residents on the importance of an accurate census count and the benefits that are associated with a proper count,” Meek said. “The committee will also provide opportunities for census employees to better meet with those residents that have been undercounted in the past.”

The resolution passed and the committee will form later.

According to census.gov, “The census bureau will continue to improve its use of mobile technology, geospatial innovations, and internet self-response.”

For more information, visit census.gov.

The Banner will report more on the committee as the story develops.