Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/26/2019 03:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:31:20 PM Start
03:32:18 PM Presentation: 2020 Census - Making Alaska Count in the 2020 Census
04:42:41 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: TELECONFERENCED
2020 Census by Laurie Wolf, President/CEO of The
Foraker Group; Eddie Hunsinger, State
Demographer, Department of Labor & Katie Scovic,
Cook Inlet Housing Authority
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                       February 26, 2019                                                                                        
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Chris Birch, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: 2020 CENSUS - MAKING ALASKA COUNT IN THE 2020                                                                     
CENSUS                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KATIE SCOVIC, Senior Research and Policy Analyst                                                                                
Cook Inlet Housing Authority                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of the 2020 Census in                                                                
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
EDDIE HUNSINGER, State Demographer                                                                                              
Research and Analysis Section                                                                                                   
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the 2020 Census in Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE WOLF, President/CEO                                                                                                      
The Foraker Group                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT: Discussed  the Alaska  Census Working  Group                                                             
and the importance of an accurate census count in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:31:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLICK  BISHOP called  the  Senate  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs Standing Committee meeting to  order at 3:31 p.m. Present                                                               
at the call to order  were Senators Gray-Jackson, Hoffman, Birch,                                                               
Costello, and Chair Bishop.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION:  2020 Census  - Making  Alaska Count  in the  2020                                                               
Census                                                                                                                          
  PRESENTATION: 2020 Census - Making Alaska Count in the 2020                                                               
                             Census                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:32:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   BISHOP  announced   that  the   committee  will   hear  a                                                               
presentation  on  the 2020  Census.  He  noted  that he  was  the                                                               
commissioner  of the  Alaska Department  of  Labor and  Workforce                                                               
Development  when the  2010 Census  occurred. He  noted that  the                                                               
2010  decennial census  started in  Noorvik and  Clifford Jackson                                                               
was  the first  person counted.  He emphasized  that an  accurate                                                               
census count was of the utmost importance.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:33:43 PM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  SCOVIC, Senior  Research  and Policy  Analyst, Cook  Inlet                                                               
Housing Authority,  Anchorage, Alaska, said she  would talk about                                                               
the  importance of  a fair  and  accurate census  count in  2020,                                                               
especially  in Alaska.  She noted  that she  is a  member of  the                                                               
Alaska Census Working Group, ("working  group') which consists of                                                               
four members  with a mission to  make sure that every  Alaskan is                                                               
counted in the 2020 census.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She discussed "WHY THE CENSUS MATTERS FOR ALASKA" as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   • Determines federal funding allocations to over 70 programs                                                                 
     that includes:                                                                                                             
        o Highway planning and construction,                                                                                    
        o Title 1 grants,                                                                                                       
        o Special education grants,                                                                                             
        o Medicaid,                                                                                                             
        o Housing,                                                                                                              
        o Foster care,                                                                                                          
        o All the main systems that the state relies on are                                                                     
          based on federal Census data.                                                                                         
   • Maintaining federal funding is critical considering state                                                                  
     and local budget gaps.                                                                                                     
   • Organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit                                                                    
     sectors rely on accurate census data.                                                                                      
   • $3.2 billion of annual federal funding allocations within                                                                  
     Alaska are determined by Census data.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC  noted that  since the census  is only  conducted once                                                               
every  10 years,  an inaccurate  count is  not just  insufficient                                                               
federal funding for  one year, it's that Alaska  is not receiving                                                               
its fair share of federal funding for a 10-year period.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:35:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON asked  her to confirm that  the state stands                                                               
to lose $3.2 billion annually if  the count if the 2020 Census is                                                               
not done right.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC answered correct. She said  a lot of money is at stake                                                               
over a ten-year period.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She  said  in addition  to  its  importance for  federal  funding                                                               
allocations,  2020 Census  data  also plays  a  critical role  in                                                               
allowing organizations  to access  data needed  to confidentially                                                               
invest and make decisions in Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She discussed "Threats to an Accurate Count in 2020" as follows:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
   • Geographic barriers:                                                                                                       
        o Census Bureau will not conduct post office box                                                                        
          outreach to remote Alaskans in 2020.                                                                                  
             square4 Post office box outreach was conducted in 2010.                                                            
   • Language barriers:                                                                                                         
        o Census forms and other materials will be translated                                                                   
          into 12-non-English languages, none will be translated                                                                
          into Alaska Native languages.                                                                                         
        o Working group is trying to address Alaska Native                                                                      
          translations, but the process will not be the normal                                                                  
          federal process.                                                                                                      
   • Barriers to connectivity:                                                                                                  
        o 2020 Census will be the first to push online                                                                          
          responses.                                                                                                            
        o Not all areas in the state will have online                                                                           
          connectivity.                                                                                                         
   • Prevalence of historically hard-to-count populations.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC said getting an  accurate count in Alaska is extremely                                                               
difficult.  She remarked  that it  is  hard to  imagine that  the                                                               
census framers were thinking about  Toksook Bay, Alaska when they                                                               
mandated  the first  census hundreds  of years  ago, yet  that is                                                               
where the census will begin in January 2020.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She explained that the 2020 Census  begins early in Alaska due to                                                               
the  realities of  counting remote  and  rural areas  as well  as                                                               
counting migratory  populations that work seasonally.  The Census                                                               
Bureau must  be credited  for their  engagement with  the working                                                               
group to identify and make  sure that the enumeration methods are                                                               
matching  the people  and  the  places that  are  intended to  be                                                               
counted, but the state still has a lot to do.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:39:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BIRCH  asked how illegal  aliens are counted,  people who                                                               
have either overstayed  their permission to be in  the country or                                                               
people who came across the border.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC explained that the  census is intended to count people                                                               
currently  residing in  the  country, not  just  citizens of  the                                                               
country.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP asked Mr. Hunsinger to comment.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
EDDIE  HUNSINGER,   State  Demographer,  Research   and  Analysis                                                               
Section, Alaska  Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, explained  that  the Census  Bureau uses  the                                                               
usual-place-of-residence  concept  to   count  citizens  or  non-                                                               
citizens.  He said  there may  be a  citizenship question  on the                                                               
census form like there is  on the American Community Survey form.                                                               
The main thing  that the Census Bureau is interested  in is usual                                                               
place of residence and counting  every single person, even people                                                               
who  are visiting  for long  term  work from  overseas. If  their                                                               
usual place  of residence on  Census Day  is in Alaska  then they                                                               
will be counted in Alaska.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BIRCH noted that congressional  apportionment is based on                                                               
the most  recent census,  but the  apportionment for  Alaska will                                                               
not be effected due to the  state's small population. He asked if                                                               
people who are  residing in the state during  the census, illegal                                                               
or not, will be counted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUNSINGER replied that he is  not sure what the rules are for                                                               
congressional apportionment. Tabulations are  made in states that                                                               
want place of  residence for people in the  military or different                                                               
populations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON  asked why Alaska Native  languages will not                                                               
be translated.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC  explained that there  is a minimum threshold  for the                                                               
number  of people  speaking  the language  and  no Alaska  Native                                                               
language met  the threshold.  She noted that  there are  over 100                                                               
languages spoken in the Anchorage  School District and added that                                                               
there  are concerns  about  translating  languages beyond  Alaska                                                               
Native languages.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON  expressed  concern  that  Alaska's  Native                                                               
languages  are not  being  translated. She  asked  Ms. Scovic  to                                                               
explain her  comment that  an effort is  being made  to translate                                                               
Alaska Native languages.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC explained  that the  translation  effort is  resource                                                               
based. She  said there are  also sub-grants to  local communities                                                               
with the idea  that people in local areas  know their communities                                                               
best, but resources  are required to pay translators  to do their                                                               
work.  Part of  the working  group's work  is advocating  for the                                                               
importance of translating  and the other part  is identifying the                                                               
resources to do that.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP advised  that a federal representative  for the 2020                                                               
Census was  unable to attend  the committee meeting. He  said his                                                               
intent is  to have  an additional  meeting in  the future  with a                                                               
federal representative.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SCOVIC   discussed  "Mapping  Hard-to-Count   Tracts.".  She                                                               
referenced a  Lower 48 map that  showed hard to count  areas that                                                               
have  low response  rates and  require  additional and  expensive                                                               
follow up.  The hard to count  areas are more likely  to be under                                                               
counted.  The  Lower 48  in  general  has  large areas  that  are                                                               
considered business as usual.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She referenced a  state map and discussed "Alaska will  be one of                                                               
the hardest states to count in  the 2020 Census." She said one of                                                               
the important  things to  point out  on the  map are  the striped                                                               
areas  in the  northern  and  western areas  of  Alaska that  are                                                               
identified as  "special enumeration  tracks" because they  are so                                                               
difficult to  count that they  require special  counting methods.                                                               
She pointed  out that in  comparison to  the rest of  the country                                                               
most geographic areas in Alaska are considered hard to count.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC  discussed  "Alaskans   at  Risk  of  Undercount"  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   • 8 percent undercount of Alaskans in the state's special-                                                                   
     enumerations tracts.                                                                                                       
   • 4.9 percent undercount of American Indians and Alaska                                                                      
     Natives living on reservations in the 2010 Census.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She  added  that  other  groups at  risk  of  undercount  include                                                               
children under the age of  five, immigrants, renters, individuals                                                               
experiencing  homelessness,  and   those  living  in  overcrowded                                                               
housing settings.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BIRCH asked how the undercount is determined.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC replied that the  Census Bureau has a postmortem after                                                               
the census  is conducted  to look  at how  the count  compares to                                                               
previous counts.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP pointed out that  the commissioner of the Department                                                               
of Labor hears about undercounts from communities.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:48:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  mentioned a  reference to  "Census Day"  in the                                                               
packets and asked  if the count occurs on one  day. She commented                                                               
on the improbability of doing the count in a single day.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC  answered that there  is a phased approach  leading up                                                               
to  Census  Day. The  count  will  begin  in Alaska  starting  in                                                               
January. In-person counting will begin  in March. She said Census                                                               
Day is  considered a  ceremonial day when  the count  starts, and                                                               
the difficult enumeration methods start earlier.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO asked if there is a problem with fraud.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC answered that she did not know.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   COSTELLO   asked   why   a   census-percentage-increase                                                               
adjustment is  not considered  when the  Census Bureau  knows the                                                               
undercount percentage.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC  answered  that a  federal  representative  from  the                                                               
Census  Bureau   would  know.  The  census   is  constitutionally                                                               
mandated to  occur once ever  10 years and  questions referencing                                                               
census adjustment  afterwards should  be addressed to  the Census                                                               
Bureau.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC  mentioned  Senate  District C  and  noted  that  the                                                               
district  has   multiple  census  counting   methods.  Twenty-two                                                               
percent of  the district  lives in  hard-to-count areas  that are                                                               
more likely to  be under counted and 26 percent  live in special-                                                               
enumeration tracts  that require in-person-counting  methods. She                                                               
noted that there is an area within District C that had a 28.6-                                                                  
percent-response rate  in the 2010  Census, one of the  lowest in                                                               
the U.S.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:51:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP pointed  out that his district, District C,  is on a                                                               
road  system just  to emphasize  the  challenge, especially  when                                                               
going north of the Yukon River.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She reviewed  2010 Census data  for committee  member's districts                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   • Senate District S:                                                                                                         
        o Senator Hoffman's district.                                                                                           
        o 100 percent of the district is considered "hard to                                                                    
          count."                                                                                                               
        o 47 percent of the population lives in "hard to count"                                                                 
          areas.                                                                                                                
       o 53 percent live in "special enumeration" tracts:                                                                       
             square4 Difficult to reach,                                                                                        
             square4 Require costly in-person counting methods.                                                                 
        o District was undercounted by 8 percent.                                                                               
   • Senate District I:                                                                                                         
        o Senator Gray-Jackson's area.                                                                                          
        o Shows Alaska's urban issues as well.                                                                                  
        o 63 percent of the district lives in "hard to count"                                                                   
         areas that are at risk of being under counted.                                                                         
   • Senate District K:                                                                                                         
        o Senator Costello's district.                                                                                          
        o 28 percent of the district lives in "hard to count"                                                                   
         areas that are at risk of being under counted.                                                                         
   • Senate District M:                                                                                                         
        o Senator Birch's district.                                                                                             
        o 14 percent of the district lives in "hard to count"                                                                   
         areas that are at risk of being under counted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC emphasized  that the hard to count areas  are not just                                                               
a rural  issue. They require  follow up for census  counting that                                                               
is more costly and difficult in  Alaska. Having a person aware of                                                               
the census during the initial process is important.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON said she knocked  on doors in District I and                                                               
she finds the census data hard  to understand where 63 percent of                                                               
her district lives in a hard-to-count area.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BISHOP remarked  that to  myth bust  there are  people who                                                               
don't mind opening their doors  for campaigning but opening their                                                               
doors for a census worker might be another question.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON acknowledged  the  point  and continued  to                                                               
question the hard-to-count designation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:54:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC explained that the  hard to count distinction captures                                                               
the difficulty of getting people to respond to the census.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON remarked  that she now has a  better idea of                                                               
what hard to count means.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HOFFMAN  asked if  the  2020  Census form  is  currently                                                               
available.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP answered no.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO  mentioned the hard  to count population  in her                                                               
district,  noting  that  she  too  can walk  to  every  door  and                                                               
apartment in  her district.  She asked  what technology  is being                                                               
used for the  census, especially if an  electronic application is                                                               
used to  share information when  someone tries to reach  a person                                                               
again.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC  explained that census response  in Senator Costello's                                                               
district will  be either online or  by mail, which is  less about                                                               
knowing where someone lives and  more about whether an individual                                                               
returns a complete  census form. District K had  an above average                                                               
response rate,  but there are  tracts within the district  with a                                                               
lower response rate that require more follow up.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   GRAY-JACKSON  asked   how  the   census  is   taken  in                                                               
apartments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC  explained  that apartments  are  considered  housing                                                               
units and people are counted within their apartment unit.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:57:31 PM                                                                                                                    
She referenced "Fewer Resources for the 2020 Count" as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   • Slow ramp-up of federal funding and the ongoing government                                                                 
     shutdown have created uncertainty about the sufficiency of                                                                 
     federal resources.                                                                                                         
   • Fewer partnership program staff have been hired.                                                                           
   • Communications materials won't be ready until late 2019.                                                                   
   • States across the country are allocating resources to fill                                                                 
     gaps in federal funding and help ensure an accurate count.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She summarized that undercounts occurred  in the 2010 Census, and                                                               
Alaska  will  need  to  count  more  people  with  fewer  federal                                                               
resources for the 2020 Census.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BIRCH  asked how detailed that  census questionnaire will                                                               
be, when will  the questionnaire be publicly  available, and will                                                               
the individual census information be private.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCOVIC  replied that  there  is  a distinction  between  the                                                               
census  and the  American  Community Survey  which  is an  annual                                                               
survey  based on  a large  subsample that  is more  detailed. The                                                               
census  form  is  ten  questions   that  are  short  to  increase                                                               
engagement. Census data is released in late 2020 or early 2021.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUNSINGER explained  that the initial census  numbers will be                                                               
delivered  to  the President  in  early  2021 and  more  detailed                                                               
information  will  come out  the  following  years. He  mentioned                                                               
undercounts  and  noted  that the  information  is  derived  from                                                               
survey-based methods after the census  and that is the reason why                                                               
the counts cannot be readily revised.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:04:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BIRCH asked how far back census data can be accessed.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUNSINGER replied that the latest  data goes back to the 1940                                                               
Census.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   COSTELLO  opined   that   there   are  different   ways                                                               
individuals  connect   with  an   organization  via   taxes,  the                                                               
Permanent Fund  Dividend (PFD), and  birth and  death registries.                                                               
She asked  if anyone is working  on a better way  to estimate the                                                               
country's census without going through  the tremendous expense to                                                               
go out and reach all the people.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUNSINGER   replied  that  there  are   people  in  multiple                                                               
countries  working on  administrative-records-based enumerations.                                                               
He pointed  out that  there are  biases in  that data  where some                                                               
people  have   higher  coverage  than  others   which  creates  a                                                               
challenge  in bringing  the data  together. He  opined that  many                                                               
consider using administrative records  as the future for counting                                                               
people.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:06:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. SCOVIC summarized  that an undercount in  Alaska could result                                                               
in $3.2 billion in reduced  federal funding. That compounds state                                                               
and local budget gaps pertaining  to road repairs, education, and                                                               
70  federal programs  in Alaska.  Organizations across  the state                                                               
use census  data to plan  and invest in communities.  Census data                                                               
is  also used  for the  proper enforcement  of laws  that protect                                                               
vulnerable populations like the Voting Rights Act.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She  said it  is easy  to think  of the  census as  an impersonal                                                               
operation   with  bland   data  that   is  more   interesting  to                                                               
statisticians.  The reality  is census  data will  determine what                                                               
Alaska looks like in terms of  its roads and schools. If Alaskans                                                               
care about roads and schools, then  it is necessary to care about                                                               
the census. The good news is the  state can reduce the risk of an                                                               
undercount if Alaska acts collectively  to identify the risks and                                                               
allocate the resources needed to combat an undercount.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:08:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP opined  that census  awareness puts  a face  on the                                                               
process  by explaining  that partners  like Alaska  Airlines care                                                               
because they want  to know if greater air service  is required in                                                               
the state  or if Costco needs  to expand in an  area. Census data                                                               
is not  used exclusively by  the federal government, but  also by                                                               
private  businesses  that  bring  jobs and  add  to  the  state's                                                               
economy.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUNSINGER referenced  "2020 Census  in Alaska,  Overview and                                                               
State Data  Use" and explained  that he works with  colleagues on                                                               
population   estimates  and   projections  for   the  state   and                                                               
participates  in  Census  Bureau  partnership  programs  to  help                                                               
ensure accurate and useful data.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUNSINGER  opined that  the  decennial  census is  the  most                                                               
important data  set that the  state has in  generating statistics                                                               
about population. In addition to  the  constitutional mandate for                                                               
reapportionment, the  census is the starting  point for virtually                                                               
all state  and local population  estimates. The  census estimates                                                               
are  used  for funding  allocations  and  in the  development  of                                                               
countless reports and statistics each year.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  detailed  that  the  decennial  census  data  goes  into  the                                                               
population estimates which form the  weights and controls for the                                                               
American Community  Survey data. Without the  census the American                                                               
Community Survey  will not  be reliable.  The U.S.  Census Bureau                                                               
manages many  different surveys, many  of which are  ongoing. The                                                               
American Community  Survey is  an ongoing survey  that is  used a                                                               
lot because of its detailed information.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He explained that  the questionnaire for the  decennial census is                                                               
brief, but the challenge is that  all questions must be filled in                                                               
for every household  and living courters in the  country and each                                                               
one must be tied to a certain place.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:11:34 PM                                                                                                                    
He discussed  data resources  that rely  on the  decennial census                                                               
and  countless other  statistics are  effected by  the census  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   • Health statistics,                                                                                                         
   • Education statistics,                                                                                                      
   • Employment statistics,                                                                                                     
   • Monthly unemployment rates,                                                                                                
   • Crime statistics,                                                                                                          
   • Planning and forecast tools for transportation,                                                                            
   • Housing statistics.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He asserted that  the only resource for  reliable demographic and                                                               
household characteristics,  especially for small  communities, is                                                               
the decennial census.  The data from the  census should represent                                                               
a 100-percent  count that does  not have the kind  of uncertainty                                                               
that  comes  with  other  sources  like  the  American  Community                                                               
Survey.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He disclosed that it is very  difficult to correct or know how to                                                               
correct errors  for specific places  in the decennial  census and                                                               
it's important the  Census Bureau gets the  count right. Alaska's                                                               
PFD-based data  is helpful  for population  estimates and  is the                                                               
only  way  for  the  state  to  get  reliable  annual  population                                                               
estimates for small communities, but  it does not cover everyone.                                                               
The state  must use  the PFD-based data  in conjunction  with the                                                               
decennial  census  to  get   complete  population  estimates  for                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  explained that there  will be several  ways people                                                               
will be  counted in  the 2020  Census. The  four major  ways that                                                               
people living in households will be counted are as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   1. Self-Response:                                                                                                            
        a. Type of Enumeration Area 1 (TEA 1).                                                                                  
        b. Covers Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.                                                                             
        c. Materials will be  mailed  for  response by  internet,                                                               
          mail, or telephone.                                                                                                   
        d. Census Bureau will follow up if there  is no response,                                                               
          also known as non-response follow up which is costly.                                                                 
   2. Update Leave:                                                                                                             
        a. Type of Enumeration Area 6 (TEA 6).                                                                                  
        b. Covers many households along Alaska's road system that                                                               
          does not receive mail at home.                                                                                        
        c. Materials  delivered   in-person   for   response   by                                                               
          internet, mail, and telephone.                                                                                        
   3. Update Enumerate:                                                                                                         
        a. Type of Enumeration Area 2 (TEA 2).                                                                                  
        b. Covers Southeast Alaska and Kodiak Island.                                                                           
        c. Census Bureau enumerators verify the location  of each                                                               
          housing unit and "knocks on doors" to conduct                                                                         
          interviews.                                                                                                           
   4. Remote Alaska:                                                                                                            
        a. Type of Enumeration Area 4 (TEA 4).                                                                                  
        b. Covers most of Alaska.                                                                                               
        c. Like TEA  2  except  that  a  sworn-in-local  official                                                               
         validates the Census Bureau enumerators' work.                                                                         
        d. Process allows village leaders  to review  and certify                                                               
          the counts.                                                                                                           
        e. Remote Alaska count will begin January 2020 in Toksook                                                               
          Bay.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He added that people living  in military installations and aboard                                                               
military vessels  will be counted  through the  Alaska Department                                                               
of Labor  and Workforce  Development administrative  records from                                                               
the  Defense   Manpower  Data  Center.   The  census   count  for                                                               
populations   and  group   quarters  facility   addresses  shared                                                               
facilities,  dormitories, and  prison cells  that are  counted in                                                               
advance via  a mix  of in-field  visits and  administrative data.                                                               
The  population  locations  identified   as  transitory  will  be                                                               
identified and counted by in-field visits on a certain day.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER  reviewed the 2020  Census operational  timeline as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   • March 2018:                                                                                                                
        o Census Bureau delivers questions to Congress.                                                                         
   • April 2018:                                                                                                                
        o Open six regional census centers.                                                                                     
   • October 2018:                                                                                                              
        o Full implementation of the communications                                                                             
   • January-March 2019:                                                                                                        
        o Open 40 area census offices.                                                                                          
   • June-September 2019:                                                                                                       
        o Open remaining 208 area census offices.                                                                               
   • August 2019:                                                                                                               
        o Conduct in-field and address canvassing.                                                                              
   • January 2020:                                                                                                              
        o Begin enumeration in remote Alaska.                                                                                   
   • February 2020:                                                                                                             
        o Group Quarters Operation begins.                                                                                      
   • March 2020:                                                                                                                
        o Update Leave begins,                                                                                                  
        o Internet Self-Response begins.                                                                                        
   • April 1, 2020:                                                                                                             
        o Census Day.                                                                                                           
   • May 2020:                                                                                                                  
        o Nonresponse Followup begins.                                                                                          
   • December 31, 2020:                                                                                                         
        o Deliver apportionment counts to the President.                                                                        
   • March 31, 2021:                                                                                                            
        o Complete delivering Redistricting Summary Files to all                                                                
          states, (P.L. 94-171).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He noted that the Census Bureau  uses the phrase, "Once only once                                                               
and  in the  right  place" for  accomplishing  a complete  census                                                               
where everyone is counted. Everyone  must be counted at a certain                                                               
place and  the Census Bureau  works to  accomplish its goal  by a                                                               
number  of different  programs.  At the  very  start, the  Census                                                               
Bureau  has  the  data  from  the  2010  Census  and  the  bureau                                                               
continually updates  data from sources including  the U.S. Postal                                                               
Service, local  and state government partners,  and Census Bureau                                                               
field  representatives who  are working  on ongoing  surveys like                                                               
the American Community Survey.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HUNSINGER  detailed that  once  the  Census Bureau  receives                                                               
census data,  the data  becomes Title  13 protected,  meaning the                                                               
data  is confidential  and  is  not shared  for  any reason.  The                                                               
Census  Bureau  also  has a  major  address-canvassing  operation                                                               
where the bureau  hires workers to physically go  out and review,                                                               
validate,  and update  the   entire address  database ahead  of a                                                               
census.  In  past  censuses,  100  percent  of  the  country  was                                                               
canvassed  by  people  in  the  field,  also  known  as  in-field                                                               
canvassing.  For the  2020  Census, many  of  the nation's  self-                                                               
response areas  are being canvassed  with data the  Census Bureau                                                               
has in-office, including analysis of remote imagery.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He said the  department is working with the Census  Bureau and is                                                               
grateful  for their  partnership with  the Alaska  Census Working                                                               
Group so that  the bureau knows Alaska needs people  in the field                                                               
for most of the state to find addresses.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:19:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP asked when the  federal government starts hiring and                                                               
training enumerators, how many are hired, and the pay range.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUNSINGER  answered that he  will get back with  actual dates                                                               
and numbers of  people. He noted that address  canvassing will be                                                               
occurring in August  2019 and people are already  being hired and                                                               
trained via outreach partnerships.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He explained  that the Census  Bureau emphasizes  data protection                                                               
and privacy.  The Census Bureau, per  Title 13 of the  U.S. Code,                                                               
cannot  release information  about  any individuals,  households,                                                               
businesses,  even to  law enforcement  agencies.  The law  states                                                               
that the information  collected can only be  used for statistical                                                               
purposes and  no other purpose.  To support  historical research,                                                               
Title  44 of  the  U.S.  Code allows  the  National Archives  and                                                               
Records Administration  to release  census records only  after 72                                                               
years. All  Census Bureau staff  take a lifetime oath  to protect                                                               
personal information  and any violation  comes with a  penalty of                                                               
up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BIRCH asked  when data  not attributable  to a  specific                                                               
resident becomes available.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:23:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER explained  that the Census Bureau  puts out summary                                                               
files that  detail various data tabulations  regarding age, race,                                                               
etcetera.  The  Census  Bureau  is  careful  about  not  allowing                                                               
information that  can be linked  to an individual,  especially in                                                               
villages  with small  populations. The  first data  comes out  in                                                               
early 2021, but the entire data rollout takes a couple of years.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BIRCH   agreed  that  extrapolating  data   for  smaller                                                               
communities could be used to drill down on private information.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:25:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HUNSINGER reiterated that the  Census Bureau takes protection                                                               
and privacy very seriously.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He reviewed  areas of concern  for the  2020 Census in  Alaska as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
   • Impediments to hiring and training census employees.                                                                       
   • Difficulty in finding and identifying housing units.                                                                       
   • Families living with other families.                                                                                       
   • Distrust or fatigue related to the census or surveys in                                                                    
     general.                                                                                                                   
   • Communication challenges due to language barriers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He said  for all areas  in the state  to ensure a  complete count                                                               
finding  ways  to engage  with  Alaskans  for  a response  to  be                                                               
counted  is  critical. The  Census  Bureau  has provided  careful                                                               
research called  the "Barriers,  Attitudes and  Motivators Study"                                                               
(CBAMS). The  CBAMS is not  Alaska specific, but the  research is                                                               
informative. CBAMS surveyed 50,000 people  and found that only 33                                                               
percent  were very  or extremely  familiar with  the census.  The                                                               
analysis revealed  five barriers  that might prevent  people from                                                               
participating in the census as follows:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
   1. Concerns about data privacy and confidentiality.                                                                          
   2. Fear of repercussions.                                                                                                    
   3. Distrust in all levels of government.                                                                                     
   4. Feeling that it does not matter if you are counted.                                                                       
   5. Belief that completing the census might not benefit you                                                                   
     personally.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He noted  that funding  for public services  was a  top motivator                                                               
across groups,  yet less than  half of respondents knew  that the                                                               
census is used to determine community funding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUNSINGER explained that in order  to find ways to get people                                                               
to count,  the Census  Bureau did research  with focus  groups to                                                               
address barriers to people responding and found the following:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   • Tying census participation to community funding.                                                                           
   • Extension to "hope for a better future" for younger                                                                        
   generations was a key motivator to get people to respond.                                                                    
   • Helping people to understand the purpose, content, and                                                                     
     process of the census may increase participation in the                                                                    
     2020 Census.                                                                                                               
   • Messaging is needed for how a census directly benefits                                                                     
     local communities now and in the future.                                                                                   
   • Providing information about the Census Bureau's data                                                                       
     protection policies will not alone mitigate concerns around                                                                
     privacy and confidentiality.                                                                                               
   • Encouraging response from trusted voices within the                                                                        
     community may increase participation among people with the                                                                 
     greatest distrust in government.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:28:47 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURIE  WOLF,   President/CEO,  The  Foraker   Group,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  explained  that the  Foraker  Group  serves as  Alaska's                                                               
nonprofit  association and  capacity builder  by standing  up the                                                               
Alaska Census Working Group.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She said  central to the Foraker  Group work is to  give voice to                                                               
non-partisan  public  policy  issues that  impact  the  nonprofit                                                               
sector  related to  the  $3.2  billion in  federal  funding as  a                                                               
reason why Alaskans  should care about an  accurate census count.                                                               
She noted that 17 percent of  the $3.2 billion in federal funding                                                               
goes directly to nonprofits.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She said  approximately two years  ago the Foraker  Group created                                                               
and  convened the  Alaska Census  Working  Group. It  is an  all-                                                               
volunteer group  of individuals that  advocates for the  fair and                                                               
accurate  census  count. The  working  group  is a  non-partisan,                                                               
multi-sector  collaboration with  representation  from local  and                                                               
statewide  businesses, local  and  statewide government,  federal                                                               
government,  Alaska  Native   organizations,  the  University  of                                                               
Alaska, among others.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She emphasized  that Alaska only  gets one chance every  10 years                                                               
to get the census count  right. An accurate count impacts federal                                                               
dollars that is based on good data.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:30:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WOLF  recapped previous testimony  regarding the  2020 Census                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
 • The federal government has made fewer resources available.                                                                   
   • The Census Bureau outreach efforts are lagging far behind                                                                  
     the necessary timeline to build awareness.                                                                                 
   • There will be no outreach to Alaskans whose only address is                                                                
     a post office box.                                                                                                         
   • There will be no federal dollars set aside for translation                                                                 
     of census materials into Alaska Native languages.                                                                          
   • The Census Bureau regional office has been moved from                                                                      
     Seattle to Los Angeles.                                                                                                    
   • Challenges related to data security and privacy.                                                                           
   • The Census Bureau is working with local communities and                                                                    
     tribes to create complete-count committees to build trust                                                                  
     and ensure a good count.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She summarized that  Alaska risks not having good  data to access                                                               
the state's fair  share of federal funds and the  ability to make                                                               
solid business decisions.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:32:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  noted that  Ms. Wolf  had mentioned  that there                                                               
was  a $250,000  budget item  that she  was hoping  to have.  She                                                               
disclosed that she  had a discussion with  Donna Arduin, Director                                                               
for  the  Office of  Management  and  Budget, about  funding  and                                                               
Director Arduin said  the budget item would be  absorbed into the                                                               
Governor's  Office Budget.  She asked  if Ms.  Wolf has  received                                                               
confirmation that the  budget item will be  dedicated to outreach                                                               
efforts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. WOLF answered no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BISHOP asked  if Alaskans  are being  trained for  on-the-                                                               
ground outreach jobs.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WOLF answered that on-the-ground  should be Alaskans, but the                                                               
Census Bureau can speak directly to their hiring and recruiting.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP said the committee  will invite the Census Bureau to                                                               
a future committee meeting.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. WOLF said  the Census Bureau is  forming local complete-count                                                               
committees that will be Alaskans.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WOLF  emphasized that  Alaskans  must  act together  for  an                                                               
accurate census count.  The Alaska Census Working  Group is ready                                                               
to  stand with  the Legislature  to build  awareness among  other                                                               
policy makers  at all levels  of government and  with communities                                                               
to address the importance of a fair and accurate count.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She  noted that  in  the last  administration  the Alaska  Census                                                               
Working  Group encouraged  the creation  of  the Alaska  Complete                                                               
Count Commission through administrative  order as well as helping                                                               
foster  alignment  between the  body  and  the working  group  to                                                               
assure  substantial  outreach,  and   the  marshalling  of  state                                                               
resources  to  support  focus-census work.  The  Alaska  Complete                                                               
Count   Commission   was   recently   decommissioned   and   then                                                               
recommissioned by Governor Dunleavy  through a new administrative                                                               
order in early February 2019.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:35:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP noted  that committee  members  received copies  of                                                               
both Governor Walker's Administrative  Order No. 301 and Governor                                                               
Dunleavy's Administrative  Order No. 303.  He asked what  the two                                                               
biggest differences are between the two administrative orders.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.   WOLF  explained   that  there   are  nine   ways  the   two                                                               
administrative  orders differ.  The top  two differences  are the                                                               
second administrative order removes  the connection to the Alaska                                                               
Census Working  Group and the  order removes assigned  seats from                                                               
the House and Senate.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She said  the Alaska  Census Working Group  looks forward  to the                                                               
Alaska Complete Count Commission being  activated with a focus on                                                               
a full  and accurate count.  The Alaska Census Working  Group was                                                               
able  to  initially  secure  the  line item  in  the  budget  for                                                               
$250,000  to  support  the  work of  the  Alaska  Complete  Count                                                               
Commission.  However,   the  Alaska  Census  Working   Group  was                                                               
distressed  to see  the woefully  inadequate  funding option  cut                                                               
from the governor's recent proposed  budget. She noted that there                                                               
was  a recent  national  study  that found  that  a bare  minimum                                                               
allocation to support  the necessary outreach in  Alaska would be                                                               
closer  to  $1.5  million.  She  added  that  Senator  Costello's                                                               
budgetary  information is  new and  reiterated  that the  working                                                               
group has not been notified.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  said the  working  group encourages  legislators to  educate                                                               
their constituents on the importance  of the census count and for                                                               
state  government to  bring together  resources to  help get  the                                                               
word out. She noted that  legislators can promote activities that                                                               
are  low  or  no  cost like  sending  messages  to  constituents,                                                               
talking about  the census during  town-hall meetings,  and adding                                                               
notification in the PFD application process.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WOLF noted that the  working group has a comprehensive budget                                                               
through 2020  but emphasized  that a  comprehensive communication                                                               
plan is needed to focus on  the hardest to count parts of Alaska.                                                               
She said the working group plans to add more value as follows:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
   • Use the working group's resources by including social                                                                      
     media, public broadcasting, and post office box outreach.                                                                  
   • Work on Alaska Native language translations of census                                                                      
     materials.                                                                                                                 
   • Add a mini-grant program to help local communities do their                                                                
     own outreach.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She  summarized that  the working  group  has lots  of ideas  but                                                               
cannot do the census work alone.  The working group wants to be a                                                               
partner with  the legislature  on the 2020  Census and  asks that                                                               
the state  step up  to do its  part because there  is so  much at                                                               
stake. She said there are 3.2  billion reasons every year why the                                                               
state should care about the census.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   GRAY-JACKSON   said    she   appreciates   the   census                                                               
presentation because  there are a  lot of U.S. citizens  who have                                                               
no idea what the census is  all about. She emphasized that she is                                                               
going to  educate her  constituents because  the $3.2  billion in                                                               
federal funding is a big deal.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO opined  that the  ability to  show constituents                                                               
what the  2020 Census  envelope looks like  will be  helpful. She                                                               
asked if a census design  graphic is available for legislators to                                                               
include in newsletters for their  constituents to start the brand                                                               
marketing.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WOLF  explained that  one of  the working  group goals  is to                                                               
create  a  statewide  branding campaign.  The  working  group  is                                                               
waiting on the  Census Bureau to provide their  branding, but the                                                               
information  will not  come  fast enough.  The  working group  is                                                               
hoping  to create  something like  what Michigan  did with  their                                                               
website that  had a theme,  brand, and logos with  materials that                                                               
people could use.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP thanked the Census 2020 presenters.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCOVIC  concurred with  Ms. Wolf  on providing  materials for                                                               
legislators or  local communities  to personalize  and distribute                                                               
census information.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP  reiterated that his intent  is to have a  follow up                                                               
meeting on the census at the  end of session, primarily to have a                                                               
Census Bureau representative in attendance.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:42:41 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Bishop adjourned the Senate  Community and Regional Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee meeting at 4:42 p.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Presentation- Making Alaska Count 2020 Census.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census
2020 Census Presentation- Eddie Hunsinger, DOL.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census
2020 Census Residence Criteria.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census
02.12.19 AO 303 2020 Census Alaska Complete Count Commission.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census
Administrative Order No. 301.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census
Whats at Stake in the 2020 Census.pdf SCRA 2/26/2019 3:30:00 PM
2020 Census