The 2020 Census and why it’s important to Bethel and rural Alaska

photo by Greg Lincoln

The 2020 Census discussion planned for February 27 has been rescheduled for March 13 from noon to 1 pm. The talk will be led by Foraker Group’s Mike Walsh and co-hosted by the Kuskokwim Campus and Bethel Community Services Foundation. Mike is the Vice President/Director of Public Policy with Foraker Group. BCSF will provide lunch for the first 20 people who attend. The discussion will take place in KuC Room 118, and community leaders and interested community members are invited to attend.
The purpose of the talk will be to provide an opportunity for community members to learn about the 2020 Census plans for data collection, including concerns that some of those methods could result in undercounting – especially in rural areas. A statewide collaboration of more than 20 organizations and agencies has joined together to ensure that the 2020 Census and its companion American Community Survey (ACS) provide an accurate count of Alaskans. Convened by The Foraker Group last year, the collaboration known as the Alaska Census Working Group has pinpointed those issues that could result in undercounting.
On March 13th Mike Walsh will highlight the reasons that accurate census data is important to the state and review some of the challenges a large, rural state like Alaska faces.
Some of the ways that census data is used include:
•To allocate more than $2.8 billion in Alaska each year that is used to build and repair roads and bridges, operate healthcare and education systems, provide nutrition assistance to low-income children and families, develop and operate affordable housing, support the foster care system, and much more
•To redraw state legislative boundaries and local government political subdivisions
•To enforce state and federal laws, including civil rights laws, voting rights requirements, and the obligation of financial institutions to serve minority populations
This event is part of the Lunch Lecture Series sponsored by the Kuskokwim Campus and Bethel Community Services Foundation. Registration is not required.