Legislature(2019 - 2020)CAPITOL 106


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Audio Topic
08:03:16 AM Start
08:04:02 AM Presentation(s): 2020 Census by the Foraker Group, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, and Department of Labor & Workforce Development
09:47:16 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
Joint with House TRB
+ Presentation: 2020 Census TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         April 23, 2019                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                                       
 Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Bryce Edgmon, Vice Chair                                                                                        
 Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                    
 Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                       
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                     
HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                      
 Representative Sara Hannan, Co-Chair                                                                                           
 Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                     
 Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                         
 Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                  
 Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                                       
 Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                   
HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
 Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S): 2020 CENSUS BY THE FORAKER GROUP, COOK INLET                                                                   
HOUSING AUTHORITY, AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE                                                                          
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
LAURIE WOLF, President/CEO                                                                                                      
The Foraker Group                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Gave  a presentation  on  the 2020  United                                                             
States Census.                                                                                                                  
EDDIE HUNSINGER, State Demographer                                                                                              
Research and Analysis Section                                                                                                   
Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions during  the presentation                                                             
on the 2020 United States Census.                                                                                               
KATIE SCOVIC, Senior Policy Analyst                                                                                             
Cook Inlet Housing Authority                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented on  the importance  of the  2020                                                             
United  States Census  and  efforts taken  by  the Alaska  Census                                                               
Working Group to address census-related challenges in Alaska.                                                                   
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:03:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called the  joint meeting  of the  House                                                             
Special Committee on  Tribal Affairs and the  House Community and                                                               
Regional  Affairs  Standing  Committee  to  order  at  8:03  a.m.                                                               
Representatives Thompson,  Jackson, Kopp, Lincoln,  Ortiz, Vance,                                                               
Drummond,  Hannan,  and Zulkosky  were  present  at the  call  to                                                               
order.    Representatives   Edgmon,  Claman,  and  Kreiss-Tomkins                                                               
arrived as  the meeting was  in progress.   Representative Fields                                                               
was present in the audience.                                                                                                    
^PRESENTATION(S): 2020  Census by The  Foraker Group,  Cook Inlet                                                               
Housing   Authority,  and   Department  of   Labor  &   Workforce                                                               
  PRESENTATION(S): 2020 Census by The Foraker Group, Cook Inlet                                                             
      Housing Authority, and Department of Labor & Workforce                                                                
8:04:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be  a presentation  on the  2020  Census from  the Alaska  Census                                                               
Working Group.                                                                                                                  
8:04:41 AM                                                                                                                    
LAURIE WOLF,  President/CEO, The Foraker Group,  relayed that The                                                               
Foraker  Group serves  as "the  state  nonprofit association  for                                                               
Alaska  and  the  nonprofit  capacity-building  organization  for                                                               
nonprofits  and tribes  across  Alaska."   She  said The  Foraker                                                               
Group  gives  voice  to nonpartisan  public  policy  issues  that                                                               
affect  Alaska's nonprofit  sector.  She noted  that over  44,000                                                               
Alaskans  are  employed  in  the  nonprofit  sector.    She  said                                                               
nonprofits rely on  census data to do their work.   She remarked,                                                               
"We get one chance every 10  years to get [the 2020 United States                                                               
Census]  right."   She introduced  and recognized  several people                                                               
involved with the Alaska Census Working Group.                                                                                  
8:06:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF  began  a  PowerPoint  presentation,  entitled  "Making                                                               
Alaska  Count  in  the  2020   Census"  [hard  copy  included  in                                                               
committee  packet].   She  said the  Foraker  Group convened  the                                                               
Alaska  Census  Working  Group  in 2017  with  the  intention  of                                                               
advocating for a fair and accurate  count of Alaskans in the 2020                                                               
United  States Census.   She  described  the working  group as  a                                                               
"nonpartisan,  multi-sector  collaboration"  with  representation                                                               
from  business,  nonprofits,  Alaska  Native  organizations,  the                                                               
University of  Alaska, and local, state,  and federal government,                                                               
among others.   She said  the working group has  been influential                                                               
in building awareness among policymakers  about the importance of                                                               
the 2020  United States  Census.   She added  that the  group has                                                               
begun an  "active outreach" to  ensure a fair and  accurate count                                                               
in Alaska.   She clarified that the fairness and  accuracy of the                                                               
count  is the  primary motivation  of the  Alaska Census  Working                                                               
Group.   She  said  the working  group is  "not  focused" on  how                                                               
census data is  used after the count, except insofar  as the data                                                               
is  used to  ensure correct  allocation of  "federal dollars  and                                                               
MS. WOLF  explained that the  State of Alaska  currently receives                                                               
$3.2 billion  in federal  funding.  She  said that  allocation is                                                               
determined  by the  United States  Census.   She said  the Alaska                                                               
Census Working  Group wants to  see Alaskans receive  "their fair                                                               
share."   She stated  that a healthy  economy relies  on accurate                                                               
data.   She stated,  "We get  one chance every  ten years  to get                                                               
this  data right."   She  summarized that  good data  and federal                                                               
funds are important to Alaska and  serve as a strong incentive to                                                               
"get the count right."                                                                                                          
8:08:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF opined  that the federal government  has fewer resources                                                               
than are  needed for an  accurate count  in a place  like Alaska.                                                               
She said there  will be fewer staff on the  ground to conduct the                                                               
count.    She  opined  that the  United  States  Census  Bureau's                                                               
(USCB's) outreach  efforts are "lagging far  behind" the timeline                                                               
necessary to build  awareness of the United States  Census and to                                                               
encourage Alaskans  to participate.   She mused on the  amount of                                                               
advance communication necessary  to build trust.   She said there                                                               
will be  no outreach  to Alaskans  whose only  address is  a post                                                               
office (P.O.) box to alert them  that the United States Census is                                                               
approaching  and to  encourage  their participation.   She  noted                                                               
that  this was  something  identified as  missing  from the  2010                                                               
United States Census,  and will be missing again  during the 2020                                                               
United States Census.  She said  there are no federal dollars set                                                               
aside  to translate  United States  Census materials  into Alaska                                                               
Native  languages.   She  stated  that there  is  a much  greater                                                               
expectation  that  Alaskans will  respond  to  the United  States                                                               
Census  online,  but  noted  that   many  Alaskans  do  not  have                                                               
connectivity  or   access  to  the   Internet.    She   said  she                                                               
appreciates that a  census worker will be placed  in each village                                                               
to conduct "a paper count."   She noted that this leaves Alaska's                                                               
urban  areas with  a  wholly Internet-based  process.   She  said                                                               
Alaskans must act.                                                                                                              
8:10:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF  explained that private  sector businesses,  tribes, and                                                               
local governments  also rely on  United States Census data.   She                                                               
called  the United  States Census  "the most  important piece  of                                                               
data we have  to make strategic decisions."  She  said the Alaska                                                               
Census Working Group is willing  to work to build awareness among                                                               
policymakers and in  Alaska's communities of the  importance of a                                                               
fair and accurate  count.  She shared the  working group's goals:                                                               
to create  a web-based hub  for communication for  local complete                                                               
count  committees,  to  translate materials  into  Alaska  Native                                                               
languages, to provide  a mini grant program  to incentivize local                                                               
action,  and to  build  trust with  PO  box users.    She said  a                                                               
conservative   estimate   of  the   cost   of   these  tasks   is                                                               
approximately  $800,000.    She  added, "In  other  states,  this                                                               
effort is  celebrated and led by  the state, but that  is not our                                                               
situation."   She noted  that neither The  Foraker Group  nor the                                                               
Alaska  Census  Working Group  has  anything  to gain  from  this                                                               
effort,  "except an  understanding  that Alaska  works best  when                                                               
government   at  all   levels  works   together  with   nonprofit                                                               
organizations and private industry to help Alaskans."                                                                           
8:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked  for clarification  that  the  differences                                                               
between the 2020  census and the 2010 census are  that there will                                                               
be no "heads  up" mailing sent to P.O. boxes  ahead of the count,                                                               
that  materials  will  not  be   translated  into  Alaska  Native                                                               
languages,  and  that it  will  be  an online-only  response  for                                                               
MS. WOLF clarified that enumeration  would not be online-only and                                                               
that  there would  be a  paper option.   She  said this  would be                                                               
explained further later in the presentation.                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY asked  for  confirmation  that regional  Complete                                                               
Count   Committees  (CCCs)   would  be   established  in   Alaska                                                               
communities at an estimated cost of $800,000.                                                                                   
MS. WOLF  clarified that the $800,000  cost is for the  tasks the                                                               
Alaska  Census Working  Group has  proposed to  do; the  CCCs are                                                               
self-funded at  the local  level.   She noted  that she  does not                                                               
have a cost estimate for that.                                                                                                  
8:13:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  noted that Ms. Wolf  has frequently invoked                                                               
the words "fair"  and "accurate."  He asked if  she could provide                                                               
additional examples  of risks that  could result in an  unfair or                                                               
inaccurate count.                                                                                                               
8:13:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF  stated that  there  are  multiple  ways in  which  the                                                               
upcoming census could be "not fair."   She explained that even if                                                               
census  efforts  were  well-funded,   Alaska  would  still  be  a                                                               
difficult state in  which to conduct a count.   She said that the                                                               
fewer resources  committed to  the effort by  the USCB,  the less                                                               
likely that every Alaskan will be counted.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ mused that accuracy  appears to be the major                                                               
MS. WOLF concurred.                                                                                                             
8:14:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN asked for elaboration on the $800,000 figure.                                                                   
8:14:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF  answered  that  the  $800,000  figure  is  the  budget                                                               
compiled  by  the  Alaska  Census Working  Group  based  on  cost                                                               
estimates for  the proposed tasks.   She said there  is currently                                                               
no public source for that funding,  so the group has attempted to                                                               
raise the  funds from  private sources.   She  mentioned previous                                                               
attempts to advocate  for state funding for census  efforts.  She                                                               
said  that to  her  knowledge,  such funding  from  the State  of                                                               
Alaska has not  materialized.  She stated that  the Alaska Census                                                               
Working Group  has not  yet raised  the $800,000.   She  said the                                                               
Foraker Group  and the Cook  Inlet Housing Authority  (CIHA) have                                                               
both  contributed in-kind  time  toward  the fundraising  effort.                                                               
She  remarked that  $175,000 has  been  raised from  out-of-state                                                               
sources  that  have recognized  the  difficulty  of conducting  a                                                               
census in  Alaska.  She shared  that if the State  of Alaska were                                                               
to mirror  the census funding  formulas of other states,  then it                                                               
could allocate $1.5 million to the census effort.                                                                               
8:16:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  asked whether  the  State  of Alaska  has  ever                                                               
allocated funds to support previous census efforts.                                                                             
8:16:55 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDIE  HUNSINGER,   State  Demographer,  Research   and  Analysis                                                               
Section, Department  of Labor  and Workforce  Development (DLWD),                                                               
recalled that  State of  Alaska funds were  set aside  to support                                                               
CCCs in the 2010 United States Census.   He said he would have to                                                               
research  the exact  numbers and  offered to  follow up  with the                                                               
8:17:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF  restated that the  Alaska Census Working  Group's goals                                                               
are  to  build a  website-based  communication  hub for  Alaska's                                                               
CCCs, translate  census materials  into Alaska  Native languages,                                                               
create a  mini grant program,  and send informational  mailers to                                                               
P.O.  box users.   She  said these  efforts will  be accomplished                                                               
through "as many partnerships as we can muster."                                                                                
8:17:57 AM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  SCOVIC,   Senior  Policy   Analyst,  Cook   Inlet  Housing                                                               
Authority, identified  herself as a  member of the  Alaska Census                                                               
Working Group.   She continued the  PowerPoint presentation begun                                                               
by  Ms. Wolf.    Ms.  Scovic stated  that  the largest  potential                                                               
consequence of  an inaccurate census  count would be  a reduction                                                               
in federal  funding, especially in  light of constrained  SOA and                                                               
local government  budgets.   She added  that an  inaccurate count                                                               
would  result  in  a  lack  of  accurate  data  for  governments,                                                               
nonprofit organizations, tribal  entities, and private businesses                                                               
to plan for the future.   She explained that accurate census data                                                               
helps influence decisions  such as whether or not to  build a new                                                               
grocery store  in a village or  whether or not to  add new flight                                                               
routes.  She said census  data also influences the enforcement of                                                               
voting and civil  rights laws.  She reiterated  that every person                                                               
who goes uncounted  in Alaska will cause a  reduction in services                                                               
funded through federal dollars,  such as road repairs, education,                                                               
housing, and food assistance.                                                                                                   
MS.  SCOVIC   detailed  several  census-related   challenges  and                                                               
threats  to   an  accurate  count.     These  include  geographic                                                               
barriers,  language  barriers,   barriers  to  connectivity,  and                                                               
populations that  are especially difficult  to count.   She noted                                                               
that due  to Alaska's unique geography,  special counting methods                                                               
are  used  in Alaska  that  are  not  used  in any  other  state.                                                               
Regarding  language barriers,  she noted  that USCB  will provide                                                               
versions of census materials in  14 languages, including English,                                                               
but none  of those  languages are Alaska  Native languages.   She                                                               
commented on challenges related  to Internet connectivity, noting                                                               
that not  all Alaskans  will be  asked to  fill out  their census                                                               
forms online,  but the United  States Census is trending  in that                                                               
8:20:25 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC addressed a map on  slide 8 which displayed the census                                                               
tracts across the  Lower 48 states that are  classified as "hard-                                                               
to-count."   She explained that  most areas  of the Lower  48 are                                                               
relatively  simple   to  count,  with  high   rates  of  resident                                                               
participation.    She then  addressed  a  map  on slide  9  which                                                               
displayed  the  concentration  of "hard-to-count"  tracts  across                                                               
Alaska.  She  explained that much of Western  Alaska and Northern                                                               
Alaska  are  classified  as   "special  enumeration  tracts"  and                                                               
require special counting methods.   She mused that Alaska is like                                                               
an inversion of the Lower 48  with the majority of its geographic                                                               
space classified as hard to count.                                                                                              
MS. SCOVIC  noted that  certain populations  and areas  of Alaska                                                               
are  at risk  of  being  undercounted.   She  explained that  the                                                               
tracts   classified   as    special   enumeration   tracts   were                                                               
undercounted in  the 2010  United States Census  by 8  percent, a                                                               
figure she called "staggering"  considering the federal resources                                                               
tied to  each uncounted person  in those  areas and the  need for                                                               
federal  resources in  those areas.    She stated  that the  2010                                                               
United States Census also featured  a nearly 5 percent undercount                                                               
of American Indians and Alaska  Natives living on reservations or                                                               
tribal  lands.   She said  the combination  of those  two figures                                                               
indicates  that the  populations living  on tribal  lands in  the                                                               
special  enumeration  tracts  are  especially at  risk  of  being                                                               
undercounted  and  therefore  are  at  risk  of  missing  out  on                                                               
important  federal resources.   She  listed additional  groups at                                                               
risk of  undercount:   renters, children under  the age  of five,                                                               
Alaskans   experiencing  homelessness,   and  people   living  in                                                               
overcrowded  housing  situations.   She  said  the Alaska  Census                                                               
Working Group must  educate people and conduct  outreach in those                                                               
communities,  especially  to  let  people  know  it  is  safe  to                                                               
participate  in   the  census  and   that  their  data   is  kept                                                               
confidential.  She said that it  is important for someone who may                                                               
be living in  an extremely overcrowded housing  situation to feel                                                               
safe  disclosing that  information to  the United  States Census.                                                               
She  spoke  of  the  potential  benefits  and  resources  to  the                                                               
community should  those people disclose  their information.   She                                                               
explained that awareness of the  benefits and potential will be a                                                               
major  piece of  the strategy  to overcome  distrust and  fear of                                                               
retribution tied to information provided to the census.                                                                         
8:23:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON mused on the potential for overcounting                                                                   
in places  like Prudhoe Bay  and at seafood processing  plants in                                                               
House District 37.                                                                                                              
8:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC concurred.  She  said the presence of seasonal workers                                                               
is another factor that makes it  difficult to conduct a census in                                                               
Alaska.   She noted  that this  is part of  why the  count begins                                                               
earlier in  Alaska than  in other  states.   She spoke  about the                                                               
challenges  in  crossing difficult  terrain  to  reach people  in                                                               
their residences as well as in  figuring out when during the year                                                               
certain residents are at home in their permanent residences.                                                                    
8:24:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY asked for an  explanation of the "special counting                                                               
methods" used in certain parts of Alaska.                                                                                       
8:25:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC  said the special  enumeration tracts will  be counted                                                               
using  in-person  counting methods.    She  described the  method                                                               
known as "remote Alaska,which    entails hired census enumerators                                                               
placed in each village working  in hand with community members to                                                               
verify the  count.  She said  the remote Alaska method  is a very                                                               
time- and resource-intensive process, but  the goal of USCB is to                                                               
count everyone  no matter where  they live or how  difficult they                                                               
are to count.                                                                                                                   
8:26:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  expressed frustration  that USCB  will not                                                               
be  translating  materials into  Alaska  Native  languages.   She                                                               
asked for  elaboration on  the role played  by the  Remote Alaska                                                               
enumerators in translating the  materials and/or communicating in                                                               
the  Alaska Native  language of  the  village to  which they  are                                                               
assigned.   She mused  that the best-case  scenario would  be for                                                               
the  materials to  be translated  and for  the enumerators  to be                                                               
fluent speakers  of the local  indigenous language,  but conceded                                                               
that such a scenario is not possible for all communities.                                                                       
8:26:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC  imparted the importance  of translating  the outreach                                                               
materials  that  will  be  mailed   to  explain  the  census  and                                                               
guarantee the  safety of those  who participate.  She  said there                                                               
are  not  enough "boots  on  the  ground" to  hand-deliver  those                                                               
materials and to convey that  advance information.  She said that                                                               
USCB staff would likely be  better positioned to directly address                                                               
Representative  Hannan's question  but  shared her  understanding                                                               
that  the  ideal  scenario of  translated  materials  and  fluent                                                               
workers  is not  likely.   She noted  that it  is her  sense that                                                               
translated  materials  will  not  be available,  so  it  will  be                                                               
critical to find  enumerators who possess the  language skills to                                                               
both  work  with the  USCB  staff  and  serve  the needs  of  the                                                               
village.   She described the  hiring process and efforts  to find                                                               
people who meet those qualifications  as "intensive."  She stated                                                               
that one of the Alaska  Census Working Group's biggest priorities                                                               
is translation of materials.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  whether  materials translated  into                                                               
indigenous   languages  were   made  available   during  previous                                                               
censuses and,  if so, whether  the shift away from  that occurred                                                               
at the federal or state level.                                                                                                  
8:28:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER stated  that he  does  not believe  USCB has  made                                                               
outreach  materials  translated   into  Alaska  Native  languages                                                               
available for previous  censuses.  He opined that  this should be                                                               
a priority for  Alaska as it would help ensure  a complete count.                                                               
Regarding P.O.  box outreach, he noted  that there was a  plan to                                                               
conduct it  for the  2010 United States  Census, but  those plans                                                               
did  not come  to fruition.   He  opined that  P.O. box  outreach                                                               
would also help toward the goal of  a complete count in 2020.  He                                                               
noted that the  2020 count would affect Alaska  for the following                                                               
8:29:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF  shared that  the Alaska  Census Working  Group recently                                                               
became  aware  that the  total  number  of languages  into  which                                                               
outreach materials would  be translated has decreased.   She said                                                               
that is a federal decision rather  than a local or statewide one.                                                               
She offered to pass along  information comparing translations for                                                               
the 2010  and 2020 censuses. She  shared that the group  was also                                                               
told that  USCB workers will not  be able to instruct  people how                                                               
to fill  out a  census form;  therefore, the  group is  placing a                                                               
focus  on the  outreach materials  to  go out  before the  census                                                               
happens, as opposed to the actual census form.                                                                                  
8:29:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY   asked  for  clarification  on   how  the  local                                                               
enumerator positions are funded.                                                                                                
8:29:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC stated that those  enumerators are USCB staff who will                                                               
"go  through  the  regular  federal  employment  process."    She                                                               
briefly  explained  the  structure   through  which  the  federal                                                               
government  has established  statewide  and  local presences  via                                                               
various offices.                                                                                                                
8:30:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC, returning  to the topic of  undercounting, noted that                                                               
there is risk  in both urban and  rural areas of the  state.  She                                                               
noted that  racial and ethnic  minorities are  overrepresented in                                                               
hard-to-count  populations,  such  as the  population  of  people                                                               
experiencing homelessness and the  population of people living in                                                               
overcrowded housing situations.   She said she  wanted to clarify                                                               
that there are hard-to-count tracts  in places such as Anchorage,                                                               
Juneau, and Fairbanks.                                                                                                          
MS. SCOVIC explained  that the typical counting  method is "self-                                                               
response,"  meaning  people  respond   via  mail,  telephone,  or                                                               
through  an online  form.   She noted  that self-response  is the                                                               
most  common  method for  households  in  places like  Anchorage,                                                               
Juneau,  and  Fairbanks.   She  said  this method  involves  zero                                                               
contact with  a USCB  employee.   She described  another counting                                                               
method, the  "update leave" method,  which she said  entails USCB                                                               
enumerators  "on  the  ground"  delivering  census  materials  at                                                               
people's doorsteps.   She added that the  enumerators also verify                                                               
and correct  their address  lists throughout  this process.   She                                                               
said the  update leave  method is  used for  approximately 60,000                                                               
households in Alaska in places such as Valdez, Bethel, and Nome.                                                                
MS.   SCOVIC  detailed   yet  another   method,  called   "update                                                               
enumerate," which  involves USCB  enumerators going door  to door                                                               
and counting people at their places  of residence.  She said this                                                               
process  involves face-to-face  interaction  during which  people                                                               
are interviewed.  She said  this method is used for approximately                                                               
4,000 households  in Southeast  Alaska.   Ms. Scovic  returned to                                                               
the topic  of the remote  Alaska counting method, which  she said                                                               
highlights  Alaska's uniqueness.   She  noted that  USCB utilizes                                                               
seven different counting methods and  one, remote Alaska, is used                                                               
solely in  Alaska.   She said that  similar to  update enumerate,                                                               
remote  Alaska  entails  enumerators traveling  door-to-door  and                                                               
counting  people at  their places  of  residence.   She said  the                                                               
collected  information  is  then   verified  by  someone  in  the                                                               
village.  She  described the process as  "more collaborative, in-                                                               
person, [and] time-intensive  on the local level."   She said the                                                               
remote Alaska method is used  for approximately 30,000 households                                                               
in Northern Alaska, Western Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.                                                                   
8:33:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  asked whether  the enumerators who  go door                                                               
to door  are required  to achieve  face-to-face contact  with the                                                               
people  they  count,  or  if  they are  allowed  to  trust  local                                                               
knowledge about where people live.                                                                                              
8:34:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC  stated that an  in-person attempt is  preferable, and                                                               
several  attempts  are  to be  made  to  meet  difficult-to-reach                                                               
people in person.   She noted that after a  certain point, if the                                                               
person is not able to be  reached, then the enumerator is allowed                                                               
to use neighbors and community  members to help locate the person                                                               
or fill out the form through a collaborate effort.                                                                              
MS.  SCOVIC   returned  to  her   presentation  and   noted  that                                                               
legislators  can learn  how  their district  will  be counted  by                                                               
visiting www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.   She said the website                                                               
also  contains  information  about  how  certain  districts  were                                                               
undercounted in 2010.   She noted that the  Alaska Census Working                                                               
Group  believes one  of the  largest components  of the  outreach                                                               
effort  needs to  be simply  letting  people know  what the  2020                                                               
United States Census entails.   As an example, she said residents                                                               
of Alaska House District 38 should  be informed that they will be                                                               
counted via  in-person methods, that  it is safe  to participate,                                                               
and that  they should  expect to see  a community  member working                                                               
with USCB staff to conduct the count.                                                                                           
8:35:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC  said the remote  Alaska operation will  begin January                                                               
21, 2020,  in Toksook Bay.   She  stated that the  operation will                                                               
consist  of three  waves with  completion near  the end  of April                                                               
2020.   She  said  the first  wave of  remote  Alaska will  cover                                                               
Western Alaska,  the second will  cover Northern Alaska,  and the                                                               
third will  cover the  Aleutian Islands  plus Glennallen  and the                                                               
surrounding areas.   She noted  that the remote  Alaska operation                                                               
will take  place earlier than  much of  the count across  much of                                                               
the rest of the nation.                                                                                                         
8:36:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY invited her colleagues  to Alaska House District 3                                                               
for the start of the 2020 United States Census.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON quipped that it  could be the location of a                                                               
special legislative session.                                                                                                    
8:36:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC restated  that to facilitate Remote  Alaska, USCB will                                                               
hire and train an enumerator in  each village to help conduct the                                                               
door-to-door count.   She recognized efforts by  USCB to mobilize                                                               
in remote locations to ensure an accurate count in Alaska.                                                                      
8:37:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON noted that  the pay for locally-hired USCB                                                               
enumerators is  "pretty good."   She  recognized that  the three-                                                               
phase approach  to enumerating  hard-to-count areas  makes sense.                                                               
She asked  whether there is  concern that the  federal government                                                               
"won't  do their  job  properly," thus  reinforcing  the need  to                                                               
spend $800,000.                                                                                                                 
8:38:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC answered that it is  not so much a question of whether                                                               
USCB will do its job properly,  but rather a recognition that its                                                               
job is especially  difficult, particularly in Alaska.   She noted                                                               
that minor  errors when enumerating  in remote locations  can add                                                               
up, leading  to a significant undercount.   She said the  goal of                                                               
outreach is to benefit Alaska by bolstering USCB's efforts.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON  noted  that  USCB  has  been  conducting                                                               
censuses for  a very long time.   She asked why  there is greater                                                               
concern  now about  the coming  census  than there  was for  past                                                               
MS.  SCOVIC stated  that  there  are "a  couple  layers" to  that                                                               
question.  She  spoke to widespread concerns  related to distrust                                                               
of  government, data  privacy,  and online  security.   She  said                                                               
those  trends lead  to  individual fears  which  manifest on  the                                                               
local level.                                                                                                                    
8:40:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF stated  that the  2020  United States  Census has  been                                                               
significantly underfunded  on the federal  level.  She  said USCB                                                               
has  been slow  to  mobilize.   She  stated  that USCB's  lagging                                                               
potentially  impacts  Alaska  to  a  greater  degree  than  other                                                               
states.  She  said this is part  of the reason why  there is more                                                               
concern now than there was before.                                                                                              
8:41:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   KOPP   thanked    the   presenters   for   their                                                               
presentation.  He asked how USCB determines residency status.                                                                   
8:41:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCOVIC stated  that the  most  basic definition  is where  a                                                               
person spends the majority of his/her  time during the year.  She                                                               
said  this  applies to  seasonal  workers  and college  students,                                                               
among others.   She deferred to  USCB for a more  thorough answer                                                               
and explanation of their process.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP asked  if it  may  be possible  for USCB  to                                                               
partner with  the Alaska Permanent  Fund Corporation (APFC).   He                                                               
noted that it  is the most accurate dataset of  all Alaskans.  He                                                               
noted that  the permanent fund dividend  (PFD) application period                                                               
ends March 31  [annually].  He said law  enforcement entities use                                                               
that  dataset   when  conducting  an  investigation.     He  also                                                               
suggested  USCB partner  with the  Alaska Native  Corporations to                                                               
acquire  information about  shareholders  so that  USCB can  work                                                               
from  an  existing  dataset.    He  noted  that  there  would  be                                                               
potential hurdles related to data sharing restrictions.                                                                         
MS. SCOVIC  said USCB has  explored using administrative  data to                                                               
supplement its work  or potentially replace its work  if the data                                                               
is highly accurate.  She stated,  "That's not where the census is                                                               
today."  She shared concerns that  some people are missing in the                                                               
PFD data.   She said a  "perfect tool" does not  exist and cannot                                                               
replace  the work  of USCB  in capturing  where people  are on  a                                                               
certain day  in time.  She  reiterated that USCB is  looking into                                                               
the potential benefits of using administrative data.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  stated that  it is difficult  to incentivize                                                               
people to participate in the  census, but the incentives are very                                                               
high for participation in the PFD.                                                                                              
8:43:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF  spoke to  the complex process  of compiling  and cross-                                                               
checking  names and  addresses.   She  assured committee  members                                                               
that  USCB does  not  "start from  scratch"  when conducting  its                                                               
count.    She  restated  that  there  is  no  perfect  source  of                                                               
population  data  and reiterated  that  for  every Alaska  Native                                                               
person not counted,  Alaska misses out on $3,000  per year missed                                                               
for a  decade.  She  said that is  why accuracy matters  and why,                                                               
even if  the PFD  data is  off by 1  percent, such  an undercount                                                               
will compound.   She noted that  a complete count is  mandated by                                                               
the Constitution of the United States of America.                                                                               
8:45:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   VANCE  concurred   with  Representative   Kopp's                                                               
suggestion that USCB partner with  APFC.  She suggested finding a                                                               
way to  incentivize census participation,  such as a  drawing for                                                               
free  Alaska Airlines  tickets.   She  also  suggested that  USCB                                                               
could partner  with SOA  to inexpensively  facilitate translation                                                               
of   materials.      She  advocated   for   forming   inexpensive                                                               
partnerships.    She relayed  an  anecdote  about a  friend  from                                                               
Anchor  Point,  Alaska, who  was  one  of  the final  persons  to                                                               
conduct  a  census  by  dog  sled in  the  Denali  region.    She                                                               
discussed  past  census  workers  who were  chased  off  people's                                                               
property, illustrating the trust  issues inherent in conducting a                                                               
census.   She said the solution  was to conduct the  count by dog                                                               
sled  and  that  it  was  an example  of  the  USCB  adapting  to                                                               
enumerate in the least invasive way.   On the topic of trust, she                                                               
stated that  door knocking  is not very  welcome in  her district                                                               
and can feel  like an invasion of privacy.   She opined that many                                                               
Alaskans do  not want to  share their personal information.   She                                                               
asked whether  there are ways  to show  the value of  census data                                                               
and assure  concerned Alaskans  that their  privacy is  not being                                                               
8:48:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCOVIC responded  that USCB  has released  a study  based on                                                               
research done with focus groups  to assess individuals' knowledge                                                               
of and barriers to the United  States Census.  She said one major                                                               
takeaway is  that people  generally do not  know what  the United                                                               
States  Census is  and  why it  is happening.    She said  people                                                               
generally do  not understand  the value  of United  States Census                                                               
data.    She  added  that  people generally  do  not  believe  or                                                               
understand that  USCB is restricted  from sharing  personal data.                                                               
She  noted that  it is  a federal  crime for  a USCB  official to                                                               
share any personal data.   Ms. Scovic addressed those barriers as                                                               
the ones  most vital  to overcome.   She  spoke to  the important                                                               
role played by  the messenger, noting that a  federal mailer does                                                               
not induce a great deal of trust.   She remarked that it would be                                                               
valuable to have  a local community member who can  vouch for the                                                               
importance of the United States Census.                                                                                         
8:49:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN commented that  Alaskans who participate in                                                               
the PFD are  likely to already be responsive to  the census.  She                                                               
opined that  it is the  vast majority of  others who should  be a                                                               
cause for concern.   She spoke to the difficulty  of achieving an                                                               
accurate count of  people who may not be eligible  for the PFD or                                                               
are experiencing disruptions in  their lives such as homelessness                                                               
or  mental health  issues.   She  opined that  those  are the  "8                                                               
percent that we're missing."                                                                                                    
8:51:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  relayed  that  both  Governor  Bill  Walker  and                                                               
Governor Michael  J. Dunleavy  have issued  administrative orders                                                               
related  to the  United States  Census.   She asked  Ms. Wolf  to                                                               
speak to the purpose and application of those orders.                                                                           
8:51:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.   WOLF  stated   that   the   Walker  Administration   issued                                                               
Administrative Order (AO)  301 to establish a CCC  in Alaska; Ms.                                                               
Wolf disclosed  that she was  appointed to that commission.   She                                                               
said Governor Walker's administrative  order focused on the count                                                               
itself  and was  connected to  the Alaska  Census Working  Group.                                                               
She said  the new administrative  order has  "not yet met."   She                                                               
emphasized that it  is "dramatically different."   In response to                                                               
Chair Zulkosky, she stated that the  intent of AO 301 was to work                                                               
on  communication prior  to  the  Census.   In  AO 301,  Governor                                                               
Walker cited the  efforts of the Alaska Census  Working Group, as                                                               
well as state  backing of communication outreach  related to "the                                                               
count."  In  response to a follow-up question, Ms.  Wolf said she                                                               
could not offer  a response regarding the  state's perspective of                                                               
the AO issued  by Governor Dunleavy; however, she  said she could                                                               
list the changes  ordered.  They include:  removal  of the Alaska                                                               
Census Working  Group as a  partner; change of  chair designation                                                               
from the group  to the governor; removal of  the Alaska Municipal                                                               
League (AML) appointee;  call for "a mayor,  a municipality, from                                                               
the  state"; removal  of the  governor's Tribal  Advisory Council                                                               
recommendation  seat;   removal  of  the  Regional   Health  Care                                                               
Organization seat; removal  of a seat assigned to  both the House                                                               
and Senate; transfer  of CCC to the  Department of Administration                                                               
from   the  Department   of   Commerce,   Community  &   Economic                                                               
Development;  removal  of  references to  timeline  and  expected                                                               
workflow; and removal of some meeting protocol.                                                                                 
8:55:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY recognized  that  different administrations  have                                                               
the  prerogative   to  issue  different   administrative  orders.                                                               
Regarding accuracy and fairness in  the count, she asked Ms. Wolf                                                               
to speak on  how structural changes of the  Alaska Census Working                                                               
Group might impact or change outcomes.                                                                                          
MS. WOLF  surmised that the  Special Committee on  Tribal Affairs                                                               
may be most concerned that  the undercount occurs in rural Alaska                                                               
and  that  with  [Governor  Dunleavy's] AO,  there  would  be  no                                                               
representation by the group that has that area of expertise.                                                                    
8:56:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCOVIC elaborated  on the  response of  Ms. Wolf  by stating                                                               
that AO 301  covered issues related to outreach  and efforts made                                                               
before the  count, and  she said  she thinks there  has a  been a                                                               
sort  of  "reframing  towards  what happens  when  the  count  is                                                               
completed and what that data is used for."                                                                                      
MS.  WOLF  added  that  Governor  Walker's  budget  had  included                                                               
$250,000 toward  the work of the  CCC.  That money  was taken out                                                               
of  [Governor  Dunleavy's] budget,  and  $1  million dollars  was                                                               
targeted toward  redistricting.  She concluded,  "So, again, it's                                                               
more about what you're going to  do with the data than collecting                                                               
the data itself, which was our original intent."                                                                                
8:57:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked whether  the  concern  is the  shift  from                                                               
ensuring an  accurate count  "from the  front end  throughout the                                                               
process"  to "focusing  resources at  the back  end for  how that                                                               
information is being used."                                                                                                     
MS. WOLF answered, "That is our understanding."                                                                                 
8:58:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  assumed that  under AO 303,  Mr. Hunsinger                                                               
was the  DLWD designee  for the  CCC.  She  said there  are three                                                               
other state designations.  She  asked whether there are any other                                                               
governor-appointed members of  CCC that also serve  on the Alaska                                                               
Census Working Group.                                                                                                           
8:58:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER offered  his  understanding that  he  is the  only                                                               
person  who is  "on both  of the  administrative orders"  and has                                                               
"participated ... to provide information  and support the efforts                                                               
of the  working group  and all Alaskans  to help  ensure complete                                                               
counts for Alaska."                                                                                                             
8:59:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF continued with the  presentation.  She outlined requests                                                               
being made to the legislature:   to build trust, by explaining to                                                               
constituents  the  importance of  the  census  and how  the  data                                                               
obtained from it can create  positive change; to send messages to                                                               
constituents   and  encourage   participation  through   the  PFD                                                               
application; to get word out  about census staffing opportunities                                                               
in each region of the state;  to mobilize CCC on the local level;                                                               
to advocate  for state funding  for communication and  funding of                                                               
the count;  and to utilize  the resources from the  Alaska Census                                                               
Working Group.   She said  the working group  is doing a  lot but                                                               
cannot do it alone.                                                                                                             
9:02:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  remarked that he  has not heard about  any "change                                                               
in  focus"  in  relation  to  CCCs.   Regarding  the  mention  by                                                               
Representatives Kopp  and Vance  of PFD  data, he  confirmed that                                                               
USCB has been  in touch with the Department of  Revenue in Alaska                                                               
with   an  Administrative   Records  Program   providing  diverse                                                               
administrative data  from across  the country.   He  talked about                                                               
direct response and  using the PFD to get the  word out about the                                                               
census.  To a comment  made earlier by Representative Jackson, he                                                               
said  the  Alaska Census  Working  Group  worked with  [DLWD]  to                                                               
ensure there  were enumeration areas  that were  not "drastically                                                               
modified."   He said  there had  been concern  about new  ways to                                                               
make  counts that  would have  been  detrimental to  Alaska.   He                                                               
credited  USCB for  working  on this  issue, as  well.   He  told                                                               
Representative  Jackson  that  "we"  are  concerned  with  USCB's                                                               
investment  in  nonresponse  follow-up.     Better  outreach  and                                                               
materials in various  languages and use of USPS is  needed.  Many                                                               
people do  not respond  to census outreach  "in the  first pass,"                                                               
which means  USCB has to go  out in the field  again; however, he                                                               
commented that USCB may not go out as many times in 2020.                                                                       
9:06:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  related that he  works with two colleagues  in the                                                               
department on  population estimates  and projections, as  well as                                                               
participates in  census partnership programs "to  ensure accurate                                                               
and useful  data for Alaska  from the  Census Borough."   He said                                                               
the  decennial   census  is  the   most  important   dataset  for                                                               
generating statistics related to populations.  He continued:                                                                    
     In   addition  to   its   constitutional  mandate   for                                                                    
     reapportionment,   it  is   the   starting  point   for                                                                    
     virtually all  state and local population  estimates in                                                                    
     the country,  and these estimates are  used for funding                                                                    
     allocations  and the  development of  countless reports                                                                    
     and  statistics.    I should  note  that  [the]  United                                                                    
     States Census  Borough manages many  different surveys,                                                                    
     many of which ... are  ongoing.  The American Community                                                                    
     Survey  is an  ongoing one  that  we rely  on and  talk                                                                    
     about  a  lot.   But  when  we  talk about  the  census                                                                    
     [emphasis  on the  word "the"],  we mean  the decennial                                                                    
     count   of   the   entire   U.S.   population.      The                                                                    
     questionnaire  for  the   decennial  census  is  pretty                                                                    
     brief,  but the  questionnaires must  be filled  in for                                                                    
     every  single  household  and living  quarters  in  the                                                                    
     country,  and  each  of  these  households  and  living                                                                    
     quarters must  be tied to a  certain place.  This  is a                                                                    
     huge  undertaking.    The  last  census  was  2010,  of                                                                    
     course, and the next one is  2020, so this is coming up                                                                    
     very soon.                                                                                                                 
9:07:21 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER introduced  his PowerPoint  presentation, entitled                                                               
"2020  Census  in Alaska;  Overview  and  State  Data Use."    He                                                               
directed attention  to slide  2 of  the PowerPoint,  which showed                                                               
publications  that  rely  on census  data,  including  population                                                               
projections, vital  statistics, jobs forecasts,  crime statistics                                                               
in  Alaska,  the  American   Community  Survey  (ACS),  community                                                               
database   information,   education   statistics,   and   housing                                                               
statistics.   He  said the  census  is often  "the only  reliable                                                               
source of  demographic and household  characteristics."   He said                                                               
when he  is called  to provide  data regarding age  or race  in a                                                               
small village  in Alaska, he  knows that  the census data  is the                                                               
preferred source.  He continued:                                                                                                
     Sometimes,  we  can  rely  on  the  American  Community                                                                    
     Survey,  but due  to small  sample size,  the data  for                                                                    
     small   communities  is   often   unreliable.     Since                                                                    
     decennial census  data should represent a  complete 100                                                                    
     percent count, they don't have  the kind of uncertainty                                                                    
     that  comes  with  other  sources,  like  the  American                                                                    
     Community Survey,  and it  especially effects  data for                                                                    
     small communities.                                                                                                         
MR.  HUNSINGER said  while PFD  data  is important,  it does  not                                                               
cover  everyone; many  military personnel,  students, and  people                                                               
who have  recently moved  to the  state are  note covered.   This                                                               
information must  be used in conjunction  with reliable decennial                                                               
census  data.   He expressed  hope  that the  following could  be                                                               
learned  from  USCB on  "how  things  are  looking" in  terms  of                                                               
recruitment,  budget, outreach,  and nonresponse  management, how                                                               
many people will be hired, and how that compares to 2010.                                                                       
9:10:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER directed attention to  slide 3 and discussed USCB's                                                               
emphasis on data  protection and privacy.  He  relayed that under                                                               
Title 13 of  the U.S. Code, USCB cannot  release any identifiable                                                               
information  about individuals,  households, or  businesses, even                                                               
to law  enforcement agencies;  the information  may be  used only                                                               
for statistical  purposes.   He said  Title 44  of the  U.S. Code                                                               
allows national  archives and  records administration  to release                                                               
data, individual  records, for historical research  only after 72                                                               
years.   All Census workers take  a lifetime oath to  protect the                                                               
personal information of individuals.   Any violation comes with a                                                               
penalty of up to $250,000 or up to five years in prison.                                                                        
MR. HUNSINGER  talked about  the recent work  of USCB  related to                                                               
"disclosure avoidance," which he explained  is the steps taken by                                                               
USCB to  ensure that  the statistics tables  it publishes  do not                                                               
disclose  information about  individuals.    Those steps  include                                                               
"data   squashing"  and   "fiscal   noise"   added  for   certain                                                               
calculations.  With the 2020 Census,  USCB is planning on using a                                                               
new   method  of   disclosure  avoidance,   called  "differential                                                               
privacy."   He said  USCB notes  that the  transition to  the new                                                               
method  is important  in  keeping  up with  new  threats to  data                                                               
security; however, Mr.  Hunsinger said it is not clear  to him at                                                               
this point  how Alaska's  data will  be affected.   He  said many                                                               
data  users  across the  country  share  concerns about  the  new                                                               
differential privacy  protocol.  He  said USCB noted  a challenge                                                               
in  tabulating  accurate  and detailed  demographic  and  housing                                                               
characteristics  for American  Indian and  Alaska Native  tribes,                                                               
Alaska Native villages,  associations, communities, councils, and                                                               
corporations.   He said Alaska  is home to many  communities with                                                               
small populations  of less than  5,000, some with less  than 500.                                                               
These  communities   especially  rely  on  the   census,  and  he                                                               
expressed hope that  Alaska can learn more from USCB  on how data                                                               
quality and availability for these  populations will be affected.                                                               
He  indicated that  the  question is  whether  USCB's attempt  to                                                               
protect information  will result  in less  data or  less reliable                                                               
data.   He said he  thinks this is a  topic Alaska needs  to hear                                                               
more about from USCB.                                                                                                           
9:14:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER  directed attention  to  slide  4, entitled  "2020                                                               
Census Barriers, Attitudes, and  Motivators Study Survey Report."                                                               
He stated  concern about  the hiring of  census enumerators.   He                                                               
noted other  areas of concern,  including:   possible impediments                                                               
resulting from  the difficult federal hiring  process; difficulty                                                               
in finding and identifying housing  units in Alaska; multi-family                                                               
and extended  family arrangements  being counted  fully; distress                                                               
and  fatigue related  to surveys,  in general;  and communication                                                               
challenges related to language barriers.                                                                                        
MR.  HUNSINGER talked  about an  analysis, which  identified five                                                               
barriers  to census  participation:   concern about  data privacy                                                               
and  confidentiality;  fear  of  repercussion;  distrust  in  all                                                               
levels  of government;  the feeling  that  being counted  doesn't                                                               
matter;  and the  belief  that completing  the  census might  not                                                               
result  in personal  benefit.   He  read a  quote:   "Funding  by                                                               
public services was a top  motivator across groups; yet less than                                                               
half of  respondents knew  that the census  is used  to determine                                                               
community funding."  He read  another quote from USCB focus group                                                               
research, as follows:                                                                                                           
     Tying  participation  in  census to  community  funding                                                                    
     and,  by extension,  the hope  in a  better future  for                                                                    
     younger generations  was a key motivator  for response.                                                                    
     Helping  people understand  the  purpose, the  content,                                                                    
     and  the  process  of the  census  may  increase  their                                                                    
     participation in the 2020 Census.   Messaging is needed                                                                    
     ...  for   how  the  census  directly   benefits  local                                                                    
     communities  now   and  in   the  future.     Providing                                                                    
     information about  the [United States]  Census Bureau's                                                                    
     data  protection policy  alone  will  not mitigate  the                                                                    
     concerns  around  data   privacy  and  confidentiality.                                                                    
     Encouraging  response from  trusted  voices within  the                                                                    
     community may increase  participation among people with                                                                    
     the greatest distrust in government.                                                                                       
9:18:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON offered his  understanding that DLWD states                                                               
that Alaska is  the most migratory state; it has  the most people                                                               
coming and going, with about  half the state's population turning                                                               
over within 10 years.  He  asked how that affects Mr. Hunsinger's                                                               
job in relation to census data.                                                                                                 
9:19:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  stated that the  department relies  on information                                                               
from the  PFD application; however,  since it takes a  person one                                                               
to two  years to be eligible  for the PFD, the  department uses a                                                               
"Census ratio  method" to  estimate household  numbers throughout                                                               
the state that  are then adjusted to an  Internal Revenue Service                                                               
(IRS) dataset.   Other  populations affect  the numbers,  such as                                                               
military  numbers.    The  department  uses  special  surveys  to                                                               
determine those  other populations.   He said, "It all  hinges on                                                               
the decennial census count."                                                                                                    
9:21:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  inquired how  the Alaska  Census Working                                                               
Group will count homeless populations.                                                                                          
9:21:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER answered  that  the census  will  count people  in                                                               
"transitory locations"  on a designated  day.  He  indicated that                                                               
Fairbanks, Anchorage,  and Juneau have homeless  counts, and that                                                               
information can be provided to USCB.                                                                                            
9:22:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  expressed her  appreciation for  the work  of the                                                               
speakers on the  Census.  She offered her  understanding that the                                                               
ACS  provides   economic  data   obtained  through   census  data                                                               
9:23:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  confirmed that  the ACS  depends on  the decennial                                                               
census.  The  ACS is "weighted, adjusted to  match the population                                                               
estimates."    Incomplete tabulation  would  affect  a myriad  of                                                               
statistical information.                                                                                                        
CHAIR ZULKOSKY recollected that  following the 2010 United States                                                               
Census, it had  been estimated that a small  community in Western                                                               
Alaska had a median income  of $70,000; however, that was because                                                               
all of  the individuals in  that sample happened to  be employed.                                                               
She inquired about how ACS information is used.                                                                                 
MR.  HUNSINGER  responded  that reliable  income  information  is                                                               
difficult to get.   He said, "The  sample is so small."   He said                                                               
other  states do  not have  so  many populations  with less  than                                                               
5,000  people.   Nevertheless,  he  said  other states  are  also                                                               
concerned about the differential privacy issue.                                                                                 
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  explained she  would like  to understand  how the                                                               
ACS data is  being used by communities and the  importance of its                                                               
MR.  HUNSINGER  indicated  it  is  used  by  people  looking  for                                                               
statistics   related  to,   for  example,   health,  crime,   and                                                               
employment, and other types of  socio-economic data, all of which                                                               
rely on a good decennial census.                                                                                                
9:27:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked what  kind of  cyber-security federal                                                               
government has to maintain confidentiality.                                                                                     
MR.  HUNSINGER answered  that he  cannot speak  to the  technical                                                               
aspects, but  he said he  thinks USCB  has shown that  it manages                                                               
sensitive  data well.   He  responded to  further questions  from                                                               
Representative Vance.   He confirmed  that the 72-year  timing on                                                               
holding records  private has  been around  for a  long time.   He                                                               
talked about  available Ancestry.com records derived  from Census                                                               
information older than 72 years.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE shared  that although she is  wary of giving                                                               
out information, her family benefited  from information given out                                                               
through an ancestry search.                                                                                                     
9:31:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF  suggested  USCB  staff   could  answer  more  specific                                                               
questions on the topic.                                                                                                         
9:32:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN postulated  a  scenario in  which she  was                                                               
able to appropriate  a million dollars to the  state's budget for                                                               
Census  concerns, and  she inquired  where those  funds would  be                                                               
best allocated.                                                                                                                 
9:32:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC  responded that  the Alaska  Census Working  Group has                                                               
identified a few  top priority items, including:   $30,000 toward                                                               
translation; providing mini-grants  to communities creating CCCs;                                                               
and  a minimum  of $200,000  toward outreach  efforts.   She said                                                               
those are the  main components, but there are  other items beyond                                                               
the bare minimum budget.                                                                                                        
9:34:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WOLF  added  that  the   Alaska  Census  Working  Group  has                                                               
considered  this question.    It has  heard  from librarians  who                                                               
would create kiosks  in their libraries, from  local schools that                                                               
would  educate children  about the  census.   She said  there are                                                               
many  ideas that  relate  to  the work  done  leading  up to  the                                                               
census, but she  thinks there is a need for  resources during the                                                               
census,  as well.   She  said there  are an  expected 1,000  jobs                                                               
during the census, but the word  needs to get out, so people know                                                               
about the opportunity.                                                                                                          
9:35:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  shared her concern that  Alaska is "behind                                                               
the curve," because the money for  work ahead of the census needs                                                               
to be appropriated  now rather than coming from  the 2020 budget.                                                               
She said being frugal this year  could cost the state 10 years of                                                               
federal contributions to Alaskans.                                                                                              
9:37:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   JACKSON   stated   that  federal   dollars   are                                                               
shrinking, as  well; the state  is not  getting as much  money to                                                               
complete the  census as it used  to receive.  She  said there are                                                               
communities  in Alaska  where people  intentionally live  off the                                                               
grid; therefore,  she mused  that USCB may  need to  hire "bounty                                                               
hunters"  in order  to count  those  people.   She expressed  her                                                               
thanks to the presenters.                                                                                                       
9:38:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  expressed her appreciation that  work is                                                               
being done with schools, because schools help with translation.                                                                 
9:38:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF stated  that the hope is to work  directly with schools,                                                               
libraries, and Division of Elections translators.                                                                               
9:39:12 AM                                                                                                                    
MS SCOVIC  imparted that USCB has  "partnership specialists" that                                                               
work  in  tribal  and  general areas  to  make  connections  with                                                               
"libraries and schools and all of that."                                                                                        
9:39:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   ZULKOSKY   acknowledged   the   discussion   related   to                                                               
translation  support  for Alaska  Native  languages.   She  asked                                                               
whether she  is correct in  anticipating support would  be needed                                                               
in urban centers for "a significant immigrant population."                                                                      
9:39:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF responded, "That is correct."                                                                                          
9:39:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  offered his understanding that  the [2000]                                                               
United  States  Census  was  the  first  in  which  USCB  allowed                                                               
individuals to  delineate mixed race,  and he asked  whether that                                                               
also was the  first year that Alaska Native tribes  were "part of                                                               
the Census accounting process."                                                                                                 
9:40:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER offered  his understanding  that USCB  was working                                                               
with tribal governments  prior to the 2000  United States Census,                                                               
but  he said  he would  have to  research and  follow up  with an                                                               
9:40:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON encouraged  Mr. Hunsinger  to return  with                                                               
that information, as  well as with information  pertaining to the                                                               
American  Census  Survey or  any  other  that help  count  Alaska                                                               
Native  tribes  to further  the  state's  understanding of  their                                                               
demographic profile.                                                                                                            
MR.  HUNSINGER  responded  that  USCB  works  independently  with                                                               
tribal governments.  He acknowledged  that the federal government                                                               
has fewer resources now, and  he expressed gratitude for the work                                                               
of USCB nationally.                                                                                                             
9:42:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC relayed that there  had been discussion about adding a                                                               
question related to  tribal enrollment on the  2020 United States                                                               
Census form;  however, there was  concern about the  ambiguity of                                                               
the question.   For example,  it could be unclear  whether tribal                                                               
identity   meant  someone   is  a   shareholder  of   a  regional                                                               
corporation,  part of  a  regional corporation,  or  may list  an                                                               
"ethnic  connection."   She  said if  various  people answer  the                                                               
question  in different  ways, then  the data  would become  "very                                                               
messy."   The  Alaska Census  Working Group  pushed back  against                                                               
adding  that  question  before  it  has been  tested  as  to  its                                                               
helpfulness.   The  question will  not  be included  on the  2020                                                               
United States Census form.                                                                                                      
9:43:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER said USCB has  been meeting with tribal governments                                                               
and stakeholders on the subject.                                                                                                
9:43:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON pointed  out  that question  nine on  "the                                                               
Census  test"  asks  the  person  to  list  his/her  enrolled  or                                                               
principle tribe.  He remarked  that that seems to contradict what                                                               
the speakers just said.                                                                                                         
9:43:59 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC offered  her understanding that "that  is not actually                                                               
used in things  like funding formulas."  For  example, the Indian                                                               
Housing Block Grant does not  use that tribal identifier to shift                                                               
funding.   She stated, "It's  something that's included  ... for,                                                               
sort of, census  crosstabulations and trying to map  that out but                                                               
is not actually  driving funding allocations the  way that having                                                               
a separate question,  I think, would propose that it  would.  And                                                               
so, I think that's the piece that is different."  She continued:                                                                
     There  are  still a  lot  of  questions  and a  lot  of                                                                    
     outreach  that we've  identified  around creating  some                                                                    
     sort  of fact  sheet that  helps people  understand how                                                                    
     best to respond.  So,  that question's sort of an order                                                                    
     of  operations  of  your  regional  corporation  versus                                                                    
     whatever your,  sort of, identifiers  might be  and how                                                                    
     you answer  the tribal  question on  there, but  ... it                                                                    
     doesn't carry the same weight.                                                                                             
MS.  SCOVIC  suggested Mr.  Hunsinger  could  elaborate upon  her                                                               
9:44:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HUNSINGER stated  that USCB  must meet  criteria related  to                                                               
race  and ethnicity,  but  it  can also  attempt  to gather  more                                                               
information that  can be "useful for  calculations throughout the                                                               
decade."    He   said  there  have  been   changes  in  questions                                                               
pertaining to race  over the decades.  He said,  "This would have                                                               
been --  what they  were thinking about  doing was  [a] separate,                                                               
additional question  for tribal enrollment, and  that's something                                                               
that, to my knowledge, is not in the plans anymore, at all."                                                                    
9:45:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON asked whether the tribal funds are                                                                       
federally funded based on population or are simply a set amount.                                                                
9:46:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY said, "That's going to change dependent on the                                                                   
subject area that's being funded."  She offered the following                                                                   
     Tribal  health  funding   is  funded  differently  from                                                                    
     particular  block  grants  for,  say,  Native  American                                                                    
     housing,  which is  going to  be different  than social                                                                    
     service  entities that  provide  support for  nonprofit                                                                    
     tribal  social service  entities.   So,  it depends  on                                                                    
     what avenue that funding is being funded through.                                                                          
9:46:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY thanked the presenters.                                                                                          
9:47:16 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Tribal Affairs meeting was adjourned at                                                                    
9:47 a.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects