MERIDEN — The city is forming a committee of community leaders and representatives to promote participation in the 2020 U.S. Census.
The City Council passed a resolution earlier this month authorizing Mayor Kevin Scarpati to appoint members to the “Complete Count Task Force.”
Other municipalities have formed similar committees.
“It’s just a matter of getting together and seeing what other towns have done and deciding what makes the most sense for Meriden,” said Scarpati, who plans to meet with state Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, in the coming weeks to discuss appointments.
Scarpati anticipates the committee will include representatives from nonprofits, businesses and religious organizations, among others.
The census data, collected every 10 years, is used to determine the distribution of congressional seats and billions of dollars in federal funding.
For every resident that is not counted in the census, Connecticut loses $2,900 in federal funds, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said at a “kick-off” press conference in Meriden last month announcing census outreach efforts.
Meriden, Bysiewicz said, is considered part of the 20 percent of Connecticut that is "designated as a hard to count area" because much of its population is transient, making it difficult for census workers to connect with them.
Scarpati said the committee will determine its role and outreach efforts before making a presentation to the City Council in the fall.
The outreach effort will likely include door-to-door visits that have been done for past censuses, but because the 2020 census will be the first that residents can fill out online, outreach efforts will also likely include spreading the word digitally.