I, Michael J. Dunleavy, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Sections 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, and in accordance with AS 44.19.145(c), herein revoke Administrative Order No. 301 and re-establish the 2020 Census Alaska Complete Count Commission (ACCC).
The Constitution of the United States requires an enumeration of the population every 10 years to apportion congressional representation among the states. Accordingly, the United States Secretary of Commerce will take the next federal decennial census of the population on the first day of April 2020.
The importance of United States Census Bureau data collections, combined with the unique challenges of Census data collection in Alaska, create a unique confluence of circumstances that need to be addressed. A complete and accurate count of Alaska’s population is essential, as there are over 70 federal programs benefiting Alaska that use census enumerations and population numbers as part of their funding formulas. Other significant implications include:
- State legislative redistricting and enforcement of state and federal laws,
- Research and planning affecting data collection and program development for issues such as workforce and employment, health, education, crime, transportation, housing and many others;
- Funding and policy at the federal level often depend upon the census, as the federal government allocates $675 billion annually based upon Census Bureau data, providing critical funding to improve infrastructure, operate health and education systems, develop and operate affordable housing, and much more;
- Tribes, governments, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and universities use Census Bureau data in their planning efforts and to develop critical public policy recommendations.
Adequate federal funding is essential to ensuring accuracy of Census Bureau data collections, including the 2020 Census and the annual American Community Survey. As the largest, but least densely populated state in the country, Alaska’s population is one of the most difficult to count in the decennial census. Accordingly, census Bureau data collections may result in an
undercount of Alaskans, particularly in hard-to-count communities and census tracts, including some with a high proportion of Alaska Native persons. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 U.S. Census undercounted Alaska Natives and American Indians by an estimated 4.9 percent and undercounted Alaska’s special-enumeration tracts by an estimated 8 percent.
The consequences of undercounting Alaskans in 2020 could cause inequitable redistricting, decreased federal funding, and a lack of accurate data for organizations in our state to provide essential services and make informed investments. Additional consequences of undercounting Alaskans in 2020 would include reductions in essential services such as infrastructure repairs, decreased funding for education, improper enforcement of laws that protect vulnerable populations, and less accurate data to effectively plan for the future.
It is important for Alaska to do everything it can to ensure that each Alaskan is counted in the upcoming census. Establishing the 2020 Census Alaska Complete Count Commission assures focus and coordination in marshalling state structures and resources, maximizing state efforts.
Duties and Responsibilities
The ACCC is an advisory body that will develop and provide recommendations for the Governor and assist in the administration of a census outreach strategy to encourage maximum participation in the 2020 federal decennial census.
The census outreach strategy may include, but is not limited to, State agency initiatives to encourage participation in the 2020 Census, the establishment and support of school-based outreach programs, partnerships with non-profit community-based organizations, and a multi-lingual, multi-media campaign designed to ensure an accurate and complete count of Alaska’s population.
The ACCC shall submit an initial report to the Governor by June 30, 2019, outlining its recommended outreach strategy to encourage full participation and avoid an undercount in the 2020 Census. The ACCC shall submit interim reports every January 1 and June 30 thereafter, with a final report no later than June 30, 2021, detailing actual outreach efforts, results that were implemented for the 2020 Census, and lessons learned for the next Census.
The ACCC is composed of the following voting members, each member is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the Governor. The Governor may designate the chair. A majority of the appointed members constitutes a quorum.
- One representative from the Office of the Governor;
- One representative from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development;
- One representative from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development;
- One representative from the Department of Health and Social Services;
- One representative of a mayor of a municipality in the state;
- One representative of the Alaska Native community;
- Three public at-large members.
The ACCC is assigned to the Department of Administration for administrative support. The ACCC may adopt operating procedures as bylaws, appoint workgroups as it deems appropriate, and may solicit participation from relevant experts and practitioners involved in census issues. Workgroups and subcommittees may include individuals who are not members of the ACCC.
ACCC members do not receive compensation as a member of the ACCC; however, per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180 are authorized for members who are not State, federal, or local government employees. Per Diem and travel expenses for members who are a representative of a government agency are the responsibility of that agency.
The ACCC shall hold meetings no less than quarterly; with additional meetings authorized at the call of the chair or at the call of a majority of members. Telephonic and video conferencing will be the primary methods of meeting to minimize travel expenses. Meetings of the ACCC and any committee formed by the ACCC shall comply with AS 44.62.310 – 44.62.319 (Open Meetings Act). All records are subject to inspection and copying as public records under AS 40.25.100 – 40.25.295 (Alaska Public Records Act).
This Order takes effect immediately and remains in effect until December 31, 2020.
DATED this 12th day of February, 2019.
/s/Michael J. Dunleavy