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HJR 19: Urging the United States Congress to fully fund the United States Census Bureau for the 2020 Census; urging the governor to prioritize an accurate count for the 2020 Census; and urging local governments to establish local complete count commissions.

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19                                                                     
01 Urging the United States Congress to fully fund the United States Census Bureau for the                                 
02 2020 Census; urging the governor to prioritize an accurate count for the 2020 Census;                                   
03 and urging local governments to establish local complete count commissions.                                             
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS the United States Census Bureau is required by the United States                                        
06 Constitution to conduct a count of the population every 10 years to help shape the foundation                           
07 of our society and play an active role in American democracy; and                                                       
08       WHEREAS the demographics of the United States continue to grow and shift and                                    
09 include individuals who identify as multiracial; and                                                                    
10 WHEREAS, every year, billions of dollars of federal and state funds are allocated to                                  
11 communities, and decisions on matters of national and local importance, including healthcare,                           
12 community development, business location and operations, housing, education, transportation,                            
13 social services, and employment, are made based on census data; and                                                     
14       WHEREAS distribution of federal funding for American Indian and Alaska Native                                   
15 schools, education programs, health programs, housing programs, water and sewage projects,                              
01 roads, and economic development is based on data collected by the United States Census                                  
02 Bureau; and                                                                                                             
03       WHEREAS the decennial census is a significant undertaking that requires cross                                   
04 sector collaboration and partnership to achieve a complete, fair, and accurate count; and                               
05       WHEREAS the United States Census Bureau is facing several challenges with the                                   
06 2020 Census, including declining response rates, technological changes, and fiscal                                      
07 constraints; and                                                                                                        
08       WHEREAS census data is used in the consideration of redistricting for the Alaska                                
09 State Legislature and affects municipal assemblies and councils; and                                                    
10 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature is committed to ensuring that every state                                        
11 resident is counted in the 2020 Census;                                                                                 
12 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                              
13 Congress to fully fund the United States Census Bureau for the 2020 Census, and, if Congress                            
14 determines it to be advantageous, to allow rural residents of the state without a physical                              
15 address to use a post office box to participate in the 2020 Census, thereby equipping the                               
16 United States Census Bureau to fulfill its constitutional obligation to fully enumerate all                             
17 persons within the United States; and be it                                                                             
18 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature desires to work with the                                           
19 state's executive branch to allocate funding necessary to conduct outreach within the state and                         
20 to provide support to supplement the outreach and promotional activities of the United States                           
21 Census Bureau as well as the work of groups in the state, including the Alaska Census                                   
22 Working Group and other regional stakeholders, in targeting populations that are hard to                                
23 count; and be it                                                                                                        
24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the governor                                         
25 urge the 2020 Census Alaska Complete Count Commission to hold active and regular                                        
26 meetings to adequately prepare for the decennial census, to prioritize an accurate census count                         
27 in all areas of the state before considerations of data use to promote census participation, to                         
28 leverage existing community stakeholder knowledge to conduct outreach in rural                                          
29 communities, and to create and translate educational materials to supplement the                                        
30 communications campaign of the United States Census Bureau; and be it                                                   
31 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature encourages every                                                   
01 municipality in the state to establish its own complete count commission to foster maximum                              
02 participation by all state residents.                                                                                   
03 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to Tim Navarre, President, Alaska Municipal                                   
04 League; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U. S. Senators,                                
05 and the Honorable Don Young, U. S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in                                  
06 Congress.