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Faith and Community Leaders Join State Lawmakers in Urging Gov. DeWine to Fully Fund the 2020 Census


April 1, 2019


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202)735-7123
Dan Clark, dclark@faithinpubliclife.org, (614)648-3663
Ashon McKenzie, amckenzie@childrensdefense.org, (614)221-2247
Erin Ryan, ryan@innovationohio.org, (440)382-2900

Faith and Community Leaders Join State Lawmakers in Urging Gov. DeWine to Fully Fund the 2020 Census

Columbus, Ohio — The Ohio Census Advocacy Coalition (OCAC), a newly formed network of Ohio-based advocacy organizations, faith, business, education, and community leaders, called on Governor Mike DeWine and legislative leaders to ensure that all Ohioans are counted in the 2020 Census.

Members of the coalition joined with lawmakers at the Capitol to urge Governor DeWine and legislative leaders to allocate fully fund the census in the state budget. These funds will ensure that census outreach strategies produce an accurate count. Faith leaders are raising a moral call for a fair and complete census that ensures all people are counted and all communities thrive.

To view the livestream from today’s event, click here.

State Senator Vernon Sykes, District-28:

“Fully funding the 2020 census will ensure an accurate and fair count of Ohioans. Our census numbers will impact the distribution of federal funds, short- and long-term planning for programs and budgets and Ohio’s congressional representation in Washington. All of our communities deserve to be counted and I will continue to advocate and fight for a fully funded census.”

Imam Horsed Noah, Abubakar Assidiq Islamic Center, Columbus:

“As an Imam, I always remind my congregation a very important and empowering message that is, “We all count in the eyes of the creator, so we must all be counted in the eyes of the government. Part of overcoming and defeating racism and inequality is insisting that we are counted, which is affirming our faith. Census helps lay the foundations of a stronger democracy and healthier communities if we come together and work to ensure that communities of colors are counted.”

Elizabeth Brown, Women’s Public Policy Network:

“An accurate and complete census count is fundamentally important to Ohio women. Many of the largest programs in the state with funding allocation tied to census date have an immense impact on the economic security, health and livelihood of women and their families. We urge Gov. DeWine and the legislature to invest in making sure every person, every family in Ohio counts.”

Rev. Terry Williams, Orchard Hill United Church of Christ, Chillicothe:

“Here we have been teaching our children all over the state, for years that all the people count, so of course they know that all of the people should be counted – that’s our fundamental fairness that we must deal with today. We are committed as faith leaders to a fair and accurate census.”

Michael Harlow, Council for a Strong America:

“We also know from [the gospel of] Matthew that it’s part of our civic duty to support children in poor and under-resourced communities, which is exactly what we’re doing when we work for an accurate census that will deliver resources to these communities. An inaccurate census resulting from low participation will do more than shortchange these important programs. It will make it difficult to direct taxpayer money where it’s needed most. This includes rural areas where people haven’t been accurately counted in the past.”

Aaron Schill, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission:

“Along with representation, the 2020 census is vital to ensuring Ohio receives its fair share of federal funding over the next 10 years. On behalf of Central Ohio’s local governments and residents and regional councils across the state, we urge Gov. DeWine to be our partner in ensuring a complete count by fully funding the census.”


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