PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea today encouraged all Rhode Islanders to take part in the upcoming 2020 United States census. As part of the "2020 Census Day of Action" event at the State House, Secretary Gorbea joined other state leaders to generate awareness of the census and why it's important, and to provide vital resources for citizens to take part.
"As your Secretary of State, I want to make sure that government works for the people," said Secretary Gorbea. "That's something we all expect and deserve in our democracy. So today I say to Rhode Islanders; you play a key role in that accountability by being counted in the United States census. This is more than a head count every ten years. An accurate census is vital to making sure that your government represents you and that we get our fair share of federal resources."
The census is required by the United States Constitution. Population numbers have been counted every ten years since 1790. The 2020 census will help determine each state's number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes. It will also shape how roughly $880 billion in annual federal spending is handed out to local communities for schools, infrastructure projects, and public services. Rhode Island receives over $3 billion in federal funding every year based on census estimates, equal to roughly one-third of the state's annual budget.
Today's "2020 Census Day of Action" event was organized by the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee, which was created by an Executive Order issued by Governor Gina Raimondo in December 2018. Rhode Island Deputy Secretary of State Melissa Husband is also a member of the Committee.
"I applaud the Complete Count Committee and Governor Raimondo for their efforts in making sure every Rhode Islander is counted in 2020," said Secretary Gorbea. "The census is a vital step in making sure that our government works for the people."