Census 2020 and its impact on Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley was the topic of the fall 2019 meeting of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) Board of Associates held on Tuesday, October 29. Two distinguished speakers spoke on the importance for Census for Pennsylvanians and how the philanthropic community can help in the effort to ensure a complete count. Over 100 members of the Community Foundation’s Board of Associates and invited guests attended the program titled, Census 2020: It’s All About Our Commonwealth.
Michael Stershic, chair of the LVCF Board of Associates welcomed the crowd and shared the Community Foundation’s new video, Connect, Grow, and Fund Your Charitable Legacy. “The Board of Associates is a voice for LVCF in the community,” Stershic noted. “You are an important part of our work because you are our ambassadors. Which brings me to today’s topic. The Census is an important issue in our region in so many ways. If you are volunteering in the community, serving on a nonprofit board, working in a business setting – you will be impacted by the Census – and we welcome your awareness, your partnership, and your contributions to our region’s complete count efforts.”
Bernie Story, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, presented an overview of the work of the Community Foundation around the census. “We have launched a regional initiative, Civic Engagement: Census 2020. We have become deeply involved in local Complete Count Committees; have engaged with state efforts to promote the count; and have collaborated with our community foundation peers to learn leading practices for philanthropic involvement in the census,” Story explained. “To help accomplish our work, we have established the Census Equity Fund of the Lehigh Valley as a source of philanthropic dollars allocated to the initiative.” Learn more….
Norman Bristol Colón, executive director, Governor’s Census 2020 Complete Count Commission; PA Department of Community & Economic Development; PA Latino Convention addressed the census from a historical perspective while explaining what’s at stake in Pa. and the Lehigh Valley, and state-level initiatives being undertaken to ensure a complete count.
Bristol Colón outlined the action Pennsylvania is taking to address the Census. He emphasized the importance for all residents – young, old, urban, suburban, rural, citizen, resident, and immigrants need to be counted. “Federal money that goes to critical infrastructure, road and bridges, Medicare, education, senior citizens’ programs, human services support, and rural development is threatened if we have an undercount,” he said. “In Pennsylvania, “approximately $2,093 per individual not counted could be lost annually for ten years.”
According to the GW Institute of Public Policy, the fiscal costs of a census undercount to Pennsylvania is a strong blow to the state’s fiscal stability,” Bristol Colon continued. “In 2015, the projected fiscal loss in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage-guided programs (FMAP) per person missed in 2010 census in Pennsylvania was $1,746 (Medicaid: $1,591; Medicare Part D: $84; CHIP: $29; Title IV-E: $25; CCDF: $17) – the second highest loss in the country. The projected FY2015 loss in FMAP-based program funds due to additional 1% undercount in 2010 Census for Pennsylvania was $221,762,564.“
See Norman Bristol Colón’s slide deck:
Anatomy of a Census: Ensuring a Complete Count in Pennsylvania
Fred Brown, president & CEO, The Forbes Funds addressed what philanthropy can do to support a complete count and civic engagement generally, and how to mobilize community around this issue. Using Pittsburgh and the work of The Forbes Fund as his lens, Brown identified the top five barriers to participation in the census include: (1) concerns about data privacy and confidentiality; (2) fear of repercussion; (3) distrust in all levels of government; (4) a lack of efficacy; and (5) belief that the census does not personally benefit people.
Click her for Fred Brown’s Presentation deck:
The LVCF Board of Associates meetings are held to engage a broad range of influential community members in a dialogue in order to better serve the Lehigh Valley. After a welcome and update from Michael Stershic, chair of the LVCF Board of Associates, and Bernie Story, LVCF president & CEO, Norman Bristol Colon and Fred Brown presented Census 2020 | It’s all about our Commonwealth.
See all the photos on LVCF’s Flicker page