Star Local News
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2019.03 creating the Maryland Complete Count Committee to develop, recommend, and assist the Maryland Department of Planning as part of the upcoming 2020 Census. The executive order directs the committee and the Department of Planning in the administration of a Census outreach strategy to encourage Maryland’s diverse population to fully participate in the 2020 federal decennial Census.
 
“A complete and accurate count of Maryland’s population is essential to the state since it determines Congressional representation, state redistricting, and federal funding allocations for the next 10 years,” said Governor Hogan. “It is of the utmost importance that every resident is counted for the 2020 Census.”
 
Governor Hogan has appointed Lilian Castillo-Harris and Walkiria Pool to serve as co-chairs of this effort, in which a total of 15 additional members may be part of the committee. The committee will be tasked with developing and implementing, in conjunction with the Department of Planning, a community outreach strategy to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census. Encouraging full participation may include developing partnerships and coordinating with local governments, community organizations, faith-based organizations, and private-sector partners.
 
Lilian Castillo-Harris is the President and CEO of Workplace Management Group LTD/Hispanos Sin Fronteras, a business enterprise offering services and encouraging the the Hispanic community to grow and improve their business organizations. Ms. Castillo-Harris is a resident of Frederick County.
 
Walkiria Pool is the president and co-founder for Centro de Apoyo Familiar (Center for Assistance to Families), a nonprofit organization located in Prince George’s County focused on helping to revitalize and stabilize communities and families through economic, social, and educational empowerment in collaboration with faith-based organizations. Ms. Pool is a resident of Prince George’s County.
 
The Census is a critical process for determining not only federal funding to states, but also important economic decisions for local communities. This year alone, Maryland will receive more than $13 billion in federal funds that use Census data to determine funding levels.
 
In addition to apportionment and representation in Congress, Census data is also used to support decision making for many types of planning and programs from economic development, transportation, and emergency management to public health and human service activities.
 
The majority of the federal funds Maryland receives directly benefits the state’s most vulnerable populations, including children and senior citizens. Some of the programs directly impacted by the Census include: Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), highway construction and the National School Lunch Program.  
 
State agencies and departments will participate in Census activities and designate a Census coordinator to assist in the effort. The committee will prepare an interim report due to Governor Hogan by Dec. 31, 2019, which will include recommendations to achieve a complete count of Maryland’s population. The census will be taken on April 1, 2020.
 
It is critical to note that all Census information is confidential and protected by federal law. Please visit https://census.gov/ to learn about how the Census and federal funding benefits your community.