Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)


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Audio Topic
03:48:03 PM Start
03:49:35 PM SB121
04:05:30 PM Overview: Census Update
05:09:04 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Census 2020 Update by:
- Laurie Wolf, Foraker Group
- Berett Wilbur, Alaska Census Working
Group/Alaska Counts
- Korena Novy, Assistant Regional Census
Manager, US Census Bureau
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    SENATE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                  
                        February 4, 2020                                                                                        
                           3:48 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Click Bishop, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 121                                                                                      
"An Act relating to Alaska Native organizations' family                                                                         
assistance programs."                                                                                                           
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
OVERVIEW: CENSUS UPDATE                                                                                                         
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 121                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS VPSO & TANF PROGRAMS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) KIEHL                                                                                                    
05/08/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/19       (S)       STA, CRA                                                                                               
01/21/20       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                

01/21/20 (S) CRA 02/04/20 (S) CRA AT 3:45 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg) WITNESS REGISTER SENATOR JESSE KIEHL Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 121. CATHY SCHLINGHEYDE, Staff Senator Jesse Kiehl Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 121. KENDRI CESAR, Outside Counsel Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 121. STACIE KRALY, Chief Assistant Attorney General Civil Division Human Services Section Alaska Department of Law Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 121. JESSE PARR, TANF Program Manager Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 121 and the TANF Program. LAURIE WOLF, President and CEO Alaska Census Working Group The Foraker Group Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an update on the Alaska Census Working Group, Alaska Counts, and the 2020 Census. BERET WILBER, Communications Manager Alaska Counts Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview on the communication strategies to support the 2020 Census. KORENA NOVY, Assistant Regional Census Manager Los Angeles Census Center U.S. Census Bureau Los Angeles, California POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of the Alaska 2020 Census Field Operations. ACTION NARRATIVE 3:48:03 PM CHAIR CLICK BISHOP called the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:48 p.m. Present at the call to order were Senators Micciche, Gray-Jackson, and Chair Bishop. Senators Hoffman and Shower arrived as the meeting was in progress. SB 121-NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS VPSO & TANF PROGRAMS 3:49:35 PM CHAIR BISHOP announced the consideration of SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 121, "An Act relating to Alaska Native organizations' family assistance programs." 3:50:03 PM SENATOR JESSE KIEHL, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, sponsor of SB 121, introduced the legislation speaking to the following sponsor statement: Sponsor Substitute Senate Bill 121 fixes a contradiction in Alaska law so the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (T&H) can keep administering the tribal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program in Southeast. AS 47.27.070(a) lists the organizations qualified to run TANF, including T&H. But subsection (c) of the same law says only "nonprofits" may run TANF. As a tribal government, T&H is not a non-profit. This contradiction endangers T&H's ability to keep running the program. T&H has successfully run TANF for almost two decades. Taking the contradiction out of the law will let the tribe continue its good work for Alaskans in need. SENATOR KIEHL stated that the bill is a simple technical fix. For many years, the State of Alaska has partnered with the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (T&H) to provide a couple of programs, one of which is a TANF Program. SENATOR KIEHL said the partnership with T&H has been effective. They do an excellent job helping families to self-sufficiency and have been very successful in partnering with any number of groups and agencies around the region and around the state. In addition to an effective job, T&H does a fiscally efficient job for the State of Alaska because their participation helps lower the general fund requirement for the State of Alaska's maintenance of effort to participate in the TANF program. SENATOR KIEHL explained that when the partnership between the State of Alaska and T&H began, a section was put into statute that required the partners to be nonprofits. He said he was not sure how that section got into statute, but a tribe is not a state chartered nonprofit corporation. It is an entirely different entity. The bill will take care of the inconsistency by deleting the nonprofit requirement, thereby allowing the partnership to continue as it has for a number of years. He noted that SB 121 does not open the partnership for TANF to any and all organizations that might someday be interested. T&H is on a list in the statute via federal law. The bill is a simple and specific fix. CHAIR BISHOP asked Ms. Schlingheyde if she had anything to add. 3:52:38 PM CATHY SCHLINGHEYDE, Staff, Senator Jesse Kiehl, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, replied Senator Kiehl's explanation covered the intent of the bill. CHAIR BISHOP summarized that the bill is a technical fix to match federal law to state law. SENATOR MICCICHE said the statute seems to say that the tribal entity has to have a nonprofit entity, not necessarily that the entire tribe has to be nonprofit. He asked if T&H previously had a nonprofit entity that qualified it. SENATOR KIEHL answered that there are people from T&H who can answer that with 100 percent accuracy but he did not believe so. Rather, this has been a disconnect between the statute and the reality of the tribe's good work in this area for many years. 3:54:31 PM KENDRI CESAR, Outside Counsel, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, explained that T&H had discussions with the Alaska Department of Law and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on options for a solution when the statutory problem was first identified three years ago. Forming a nonprofit or incorporating the tribe were considered but it is not a workable option for the tribe and the tribe had been successfully carrying out the TANF Program for 20 years without incorporation. Pursuing a statutory fix seemed to be the most straightforward solution. SENATOR MICCICHE asked if Tlingit and Haida Central Council that is named in the existing statute is the same entity discussed in the bill as Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. MS. CESAR answered yes. SENATOR MICCICHE asked if the "Notwithstanding" in the repeal language covered those listed within [AS 47.27.070(a)]. MS. CESAR explained that subsection (a), like the federal provision, specifies the appropriate entities that Congress authorized to carry out the program for Alaska. However, the requirement in subsection (c) requires Alaska Native organizations to incorporate. She noted that the statutory requirement lists incorporated entities, like Metlakatla. 3:56:46 PM SENATOR MICCICHE questioned the necessity for the bill when it looks like subsection (a) covered T&H. CHAIR BISHOP stated that the bill will be set aside to allow the committee more time to ponder. SENATOR MICCICHE emphasized that his previous question should not in any way mean that he is not supportive of repairing the issue. He said it sometimes seems like the legislature is fixing things that are common sense issues that are adequately dealt with in existing code. CHAIR BISHOP said he would like to ask the Alaska Department of Law if they support the bill. SENATOR MICCICHE reiterated that his question is if the change is necessary as a technicality or if T&H is covered under section (a) in the statute. 3:58:18 PM STACIE KRALY, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Human Services Section, Alaska Department of Law, Juneau, Alaska, answered that the fix is necessary because of the way the federal tribal TANF Program is set up. SENATOR MICCICHE asked if the fix is for everyone on the list. MS. KRALY answered that the vast majority of those listed in the statute are nonprofit organizations. The other difference is Metlakatla is a tribal reservation in Alaska. She reiterated that this fix would solve the problem. CHAIR BISHOP asked if DOL supports the changes in the bill. MS. KRALY answered that the Alaska Department of Law takes no position on the proposed fix. The department recognizes that there were three different ways to fix the problem. Ms. Cesar discussed one fix that T&H declined, which was to become an organized nonprofit or file as a nonprofit. She said a second way to fix the problem would be to amend subparagraph 13 of the statute. The third way is the fix proposed by the bill. She summarized that any of the three fixes would work for the department. She said it is not that the department does not support the bill, the department supports the fix. 4:00:12 PM SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON thanked Senator Kiehl for bringing the bill forward. She said she does not blame T&H for not wanting to deal with becoming a nonprofit if they really do not have to. She stated that she is glad the housekeeping issue is coming forward and she is looking forward to moving forward. SENATOR MICCICHE asked why [AS 47.27.070(c)] was originally in statute. MS. CESAR explained that T&H looked at the state legislative history and unfortunately the analysis did not shed light on that question. T&H is not sure why the section was inserted other than perhaps as a regional tribe, which is unique in Alaska, was confused with the other nonprofits. She said there does seem to be some general misunderstanding about regional tribes, which are unlike any other tribes. She added that Alaska does tend to have a regional delivery of services like the TANF Program. CHAIR BISHOP asked if she had anything else to put on the record before the bill is set aside. MS. CESAR noted that Jesse Parr, TANF Manager for T&H, is in attendance to discuss the savings to the state which Senator Kiehl previously noted. CHAIR BISHOP asked Mr. Parr to highlight some of the savings from the TANF Program. 4:02:14 PM JESSE PARR, TANF Program Manager, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, explained that the tribe receives TANF funding directly from the federal government. The tribal TANF Program is throughout the state and is comprised of about 30 percent of the federal TANF funding. The state realizes a 30 percent reduction in its maintenance of effort requirement that results in a $15 million savings, from $52 million to $36 million. He summarized that the TANF Program is good for all parties involved. He affirmed that T&H genuinely desires to continue providing services to help people. CHAIR BISHOP commented that the more the legislature can do to create jobs, less people will have to use the TANF Program. MR. PARR concurred. CHAIR BISHOP noted that he worked very closely with the TANF Program with the Tana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks. 4:03:21 PM CHAIR BISHOP held SB 121 in committee. 4:03:28 PM At ease. ^OVERVIEW: Census Update OVERVIEW: Census Update 4:05:30 PM CHAIR BISHOP announced that the next order of business would be a United States Census 2020 update by Foraker Group, the Census Working Group, Alaska Counts, and the U.S. Census Bureau. 4:06:26 PM LAURIE WOLF, President and CEO, The Foraker Group, Anchorage Alaska, explained that The Foraker Group stands with the Alaska Census Working Group, which has launched Alaska Counts, the statewide campaign for the 2020 Census. 4:08:10 PM MS. WOLF stated that about four years ago, as part of an initial focus on the 2020 Census, The Foraker Group created the Alaska Census Working Group, a statewide nonpartisan group of stakeholders committed to ensuring an accurate count of Alaska in the 2020 Census. The Alaska Census Working Group consists of Alaskan businesses, nonprofits, governments, and tribal organizations that share the same goal to help ensure an accurate count of Alaskans. She identified the following Alaska Census Working Group participants: • Agnew Beck • Alaska Airlines • Alaska Municipal League • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium • Alaska Public Interest Research Group • ANCSA Regional Association • Cook Inlet Housing Authority • First Alaskans Institute • Koniag, Inc. • Municipality of Anchorage • Rasmuson Foundation • Sealaska • State of Alaska • The Foraker Group MS. WOLF highlighted the working group's key partner since the beginning, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, an organization that has provided significant in-kind contributions of staff and resources. It has been an equal partner to The Foraker Group's efforts. She added that The Foraker Group acknowledges the Alaska Public Interest Research Group for their incredible efforts over the last year in leading the core team's translation efforts for the 2020 Census. MS. WOLF said it is unfortunate but the Alaska Census Working Group had little information about past census efforts and inadequate funding from the U.S. Census Bureau. The working group knew that it had to do things differently for Alaska to have a better result in 2020. MS. WOLF said the working group has created a grand exception to the rule of how states organize to promote the census. The working group has created a model that other states and national organizations have said is a hallmark of success in its very creation, structure, multi-sector participation, and operation. The working group hopes that its accolades turn out to be true in the census results as well. 4:08:35 PM SENATOR HOFFMAN joined the committee meeting. 4:09:42 PM SENATOR SHOWER joined the committee meeting. 4:10:07 PM MS. WOLF explained that the Alaska Census Working Group focused on the importance of the 2020 Census by advocating for appropriate funding and sufficient resources at both the federal and state levels. The working group established working relationships with the U.S. Census Bureau staff at the national, regional, and state levels that continues today. She said the working group shifted to a ground game in June 2019 by engaging Alaskans about the importance of the count. The working group is grateful to the U.S. Census Bureau staff in Alaska for being a good partner, even when resources have been very limited. Both the working group and the U.S. Census Bureau have focused on creating complementary resources to spread as far as possible across the state. MS. WOLF said the working group is also appreciative of the Office of Governor Dunleavy and staff member Mr. Jordan Shilling for his efforts in staffing the 2020 Census Alaska Complete Count Commission. The working group appreciates Mr. Shilling's communication and collaboration. She noted that during the fall of 2019, the Alaska Census Working Group launched Alaska Counts, a statewide education campaign. She directed attention to the slide, the 2020 Census Began on January 21 in Toksook Bay. She said that while the 2020 Census will count most Alaskan households in March, the census started the previous week in Toksook Bay. The U.S. Census director counted the people of Toksook Bay in person. She said that when the rest of the country celebrates Census Day on April 1, 2020, Alaska will be well on its way to census completion by. Since the census is underway in parts of the state and fast approaching in others, now is time for public engagement. 4:12:02 PM MS. WOLF displayed the slide, Why the Census Matters for Alaska. She said there are 3.2 billion reasons to care about the 2020 Census because that is how many federal dollars flow into Alaska each year based on census data. The federal funding goes to every Alaska community for everything from roads, airports, hospitals, and schools. Given the current state and local budget gaps, it is increasingly important that Alaska receive its fair and equitable share of federal resources. She pointed out that if Alaskans go undercounted in the 2020 Census, the state will not receive its fair share of critical funding for 10 years. Alaska only has one shot at getting the census right and the impact lasts for 10 years. MS. WOLF explained that there are many other reasons why the 2020 Census matters. Future organizational plans across sectors rely on accurate census data. Whether a local government is determining a need for a new program, an airline deciding to add another flight route, or a store deciding where it should open, all depends on good census data. 4:13:04 PM MS WOLF turned to the slide, The Census Affects All Alaskans. She said the census matters because it is about dollars, data, and democracy. In dollars, the census determines funding for critical services for the state and communities for everything from police and fire to roads and airports, to housing and healthcare. Every community and every Alaskan benefits from the dollars that come into the state each year based on census data. Organizations across the state and across sectors use census data for planning. MS. WOLF said in terms of democracy, census data determines local and state political boundaries through the redistricting process. Voting and civil rights and law enforcement requires accurate census data. MS. WOLF emphasized that accurate census data is critical for the previously noted reasons. The risk of not having accurate data could mean a reduction in federal funds for Alaska and its local governments, an inability for planning by local communities, improper enforcement of the voting and civil rights laws, and possibly the reduction of essentials services. MS. WOLF reviewed the slide, The Census Affects Alaska's Economy. She emphasized that the 2020 Census is critical to the state's economy, not just for state and local government programs, but for businesses across the state. The critical census-based data that businesses use to plan and invest in Alaska and communities ranges from macro measures like GDP to local market data. Getting an accurate count is essential to ensuring accurate data, not just for governments and nonprofits, but also for private businesses of all sizes that are investing and employing Alaskans in Alaska. 4:15:19 PM MS. WOLF discussed the Threats to An Accurate Count in 2020. These include distrust, language barriers, and barriers to connectivity. She said the census is working against some specific barriers to an accurate count that includes a general distrust of government, concerns about data privacy and confidentiality, and language barriers. She detailed that the 2020 Census will only provide a complete set of language translations in 12 non-English languages and materials translation into 56 languages. However, none of the census translations are in Alaska Native languages. MS. WOLF said there are connectivity barriers because the 2020 Census will be the first census to push online response. While not all households in Alaska will respond online, a digital divide exists. The state will have to overcome the digital divide to make sure all Alaskans can respond in the 2020 Census. The working group appreciates the headway that the 2020 Census is making with hiring census workers for each Alaska Native village to do a paper count. However, the census for urban places will be mostly an internet-based process. She reported that the federal government has made fewer resources available for an accurate count in Alaska. She said an overall communication barrier exists because the U.S. Census Bureau will not do outreach to Alaskans who only have P.O. boxes to alert them that the census is coming to their communities. 4:16:48 PM CHAIR BISHOP asked how many committee members have heard the commercials for the 2020 Census. MS. WOLF noted that the commercials might be from either the U.S. Census Bureau or the Alaska Census Working Group. CHAIR BISHOP remarked that the commercials are probably from the U.S. Census Bureau. He confirmed that committee members have heard the 2020 Census commercials. SENATOR MICCICHE asked what the plan is for providing interpreters for Alaska Native villages and other communities. He assumed that the previous census missed the population that required interpreters. MS. WOLF replied the census overview will address interpreters. 4:18:02 PM MS. WOLF summarized that the Alaska Census Working Group is all about recognizing the importance of the 2020 Census for Alaska and the many risks of an undercount. The working group wants the statewide education campaign to combat all the previously noted issues. The working group has visited many legislators to specifically assist in communicating with constituents. The census resources address the huge barriers that exist, and legislators are critical voices along the way. MS. WOLF explained that the overall goal at Alaska Counts is for Alaskans to understand three basic messages. The first is the census is confidential and data is only for statistical purposes. The U.S. Census Bureau cannot share data outside of the agency, bureau officials face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for sharing any personal census data. She pointed out that the 2020 Census has more safeguards in place and will ask for less information than what the Permanent Fund Dividend requires from Alaskans. Every Alaskan community benefits from the 2020 Census counting everyone. MS. WOLF concluded saying the 2020 Census is easy to complete. She said her favorite thing to say about the census is, "It's 10 questions, it takes 10 minutes, and it will have 10 years of funding impact." MS. WOLF said Ms. Beret Wilber with Alaska Counts will answer questions about communications strategy and highlight the translated census materials. 4:20:15 PM BERET WILBER, Communications Manager, Alaska Counts, Anchorage, Alaska, began her presentation with the slide, Alaska Counts Strategy. She explained that the census strategy is based on trying to elevate trusted voices in communities. Alaskans trust each other so one strategy is not to tell Alaskans what to do, but to get local networks and local people to talk to each other about the census by elevating trusted people within their communities and within their networks. Alaska Counts has put together a strategy that uses a lot of different communications options across mediums by using direct communications and advertising from radio public service announcements (PSAs) to digital advertising. Alaska Counts is doing plenty of outreach, starting with a mini-grant program along with creating census materials. She noted that she will talk about some of translation work and facilitating materials that Alaska Counts has done. 4:21:40 PM MS. WILBER pointed out that the U.S. Census Bureau does not mail anything to P.O. boxes. She said Alaska Counts has made it its mission to send mailers to warn people that the 2020 Census is coming. They sent out two of the planned four mailers to about 88,000 P.O. boxes across Alaska. The mailers are not just to rural Alaska; the mailers include about 12,000 P.O. boxes within the Municipality of Anchorage. Sending mailers is how Alaska Counts is getting information to people. She noted that Alaska Counts has public service announcements (PSAs) playing in English statewide through the Alaska Public Radio Network (APRN) and translated PSAs in Yup'ik, Denaakk'e, Gwich'in, and Iupiaq. Alaska Counts contracted with a digital advertising company to promote the 2020 Census. The digital advertising campaign has had 64,000 impressions for Alaskans and that includes: search engine optimization (SCO), geo-targeting based on internet usage location, social media promoted content, pre-roll videos, as well as traditional online displays and advertising banners. MS. WILBER reported that since January 1, Alaska Counts has been contacted by local, national, and international reporters. they have participated in more than 15 articles that have come out from local media to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Alaska Counts also has social media for building networks and communications to provide people an easy way to get in touch and ask questions. Alaska Counts currently has 537 followers and the previous week's posts reached a total of 24,000 people. 4:24:22 PM MS. WILBER displayed the Alaska Counts Outreach slide. She explained that in terms of outreach, Alaska Counts started by creating a logo, brand, and materials. They want Alaskans across the state to have access to materials that are professional but Alaskan. Alaska Counts has helped local communities and organizations to remake census materials that are specific to them. She noted the slide shows the buttons Alaska Counts has made, including Alaska Native language buttons that say, "I'm Tlingit and I count." Some have been translated into Alaska Native languages, which allows individuals to represent themselves in a way they feel is most appropriate. MS. WILBER said Alaska Counts has partnered with different organizations and people across the state. Alaska Counts has tables at events like the Alaska Municipal League's annual conference, the Alaska Federation of Native's annual conference, and a recent refuge and immigration services event held in Anchorage. Alaska Counts is always looking at ways to engage partners, to build networks, and to elevate trusted voices. She noted that one of the big opportunities that Alaska Counts is proud of is its mini-grant program. Any organization can apply for a grant of $250 to do local outreach in their community as they see best. Alaska Counts has received 62 applications and awarded 40 grants for a little less than $10,000. Counts is proud that 23 of its 30 census tracks has received mini-grant funds. 4:26:39 PM MS. WILBER said Alaska Counts would like to hear from the following districts to provide funding for local resources: Northwest Arctic Borough, Nome Census Area, Bethel Census Area, Bristol Bay Borough, both Aleutians East and West Census Areas, and the Valdez-Cordova Census Area. MS. WILBER displayed the slide, Alaska Counts Language Access. She said one strategy pillar is language translation. The U.S. Census Bureau really does not have the expertise or the resources to translate anything into Alaska Native languages. The state will have to translate its own census materials. Translating materials will build trust and get people invested in the census, especially with people in some of the hardest to count places in the nation. Translated materials will speak to people, not just in terms of their content but in terms of the census mechanics. MS. WILBER displayed the slide showing a cross-cultural event in Anchorage in December 2019. She explained that Alaska Counts organized and paid for, with help from partners at the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, more than 25 speakers of Yup'ik, Gwich'in, Denaakk'e, and Iupiaq to come to Anchorage and have a cross-cultural dialogue. The Native speakers broke into different groups every day, as well as talking across groups, and did more than six hours of translation a day on census ideas and materials. She conceded that there are no easy ways to translate census ideas like apportionment into Yup'ik. The translators looked at words and ideas to describe census ideas in ways that made sense culturally. One of the examples that translators used a lot when talking about apportionment and the federal government awarding money to Alaska was to compare the process of equally dividing moose meat among people in the community. Census translation is both translation and making things culturally relevant. 4:29:32 PM MS. WILBER stated that Alaska Counts is proud of its Alaska Native Language Resource, a result of the language conference in Anchorage. Alaska counts has posted four translation language guides on its website. Native translators were also excited about creating Alaska Native PSAs. They have posted both audio and video PSAs on their website and YouTube channel for social media sharing. The PSAs are bilingual in Alaska Native languages and English. 4:30:45 PM MS. WILBER reported that Alaska Native language public service announcements have been translated into Yup'ik, Denaakk'e, Gwich'in, and Iupiaq. She explained that since Alaska Counts uses its website as a clearinghouse for useful census resources, the intent was to make sure world language information was readily available. She said Alaska is very diverse, noting that people in the Anchorage School District alone speak more than 110 languages. Alaska Counts partnered with the Municipality of Anchorage to print the Know Your Rights cards in 10 languages for people who do not speak English. The cards include important information about how the census is safe, confidential, and easy to complete. Alaska Counts also has a list of more than 55 world languages on its website for Alaskans who might be more comfortable speaking a different first language than English. MS. WILBER stated that trusted voices matter in Alaska and they are what will make the difference in 2020. Alaska Counts saw translators at the language summit come in the door not knowing what the census was, not being interested in answering it, and not really trusting the census. However, translators ultimately realized the importance of the census and the difference it will make in communities. Alaska Counts felt that the language summit success was really galvanizing local, trusted voices to be able to take the census message back to their communities. 4:33:25 PM MS. WILBER displayed the slide, Specific ways to get involved as a legislator and staff that read as follows: • Visit alaskacounts.org to sign up for census updates. • Use the materials on alaskacounts.org to write your constituent newsletters, blog posts, social media, and other outreach. • Connect with the local Complete Count Committee in your region. • Be a strong and consistent voice about the importance of the census. • Share the mini-grant opportunity with organizations in your district. • Take and complete the Census Champion Checklist. MS. WILBER displayed the slide, More ways to get involved as a legislator and staff that read as follows: • Consider teaming up to write a bipartisan letter to the editor with a fellow legislator. • Bring census materials to your constituent and caucus meetings. • Include the census in your newsletter updates to constituents from now until Census Day. • Talk to your friends, family, colleagues, and constituents about the importance of being counted. MS. WILBER said Alaska Counts is learning more and more about how to maximize trusted voices in communities around the census. Input from legislators and other shared ideas led to specific questions. Most all legislators are doing regular constituent outreach, so Alaska Counts is trying to catch up to provide customized materials. The goal is to provide information to share with constituents. MS. WILBER noted that Complete Count Committees are in every region. While Alaska Counts is a statewide effort, the Complete Count Committee is on the local level. She shared that she is on the Complete Count Committee for Anchorage and noted that 60 people came together to talk about activating in communities across Anchorage. She said there are Complete Count Committees that are localizing the census effort, using Alaska Counts and U.S. Census Bureau materials as well. She suggested that the rule should be to talk about the census and activate a community when there are more than three people in a room. By talking about the census, the more normalized it will become, the more everybody wants to participate, and some of the fear will disappear. MS. WILBER asked legislators to spread the word on the mini- grant program that Ms. Wolf mentioned. She said building trust occurs when Alaskans talk to Alaskans. She added that legislators received a check list for being a census champion. Handing out the check list will help people know about partnering opportunities. The simple act of talking to friends, family, and colleagues about why the census matters for Alaska will make a big difference. 4:36:25 PM She displayed the slide, Know How and When Your Community Will Be Counted. The slide showed the 2020 Census map for the Alaska census count with the following information: • 2020 Census Initial Contact: o Internet First mailing (English) o Internet First mailing (bilingual) o Internet Choice mailing (English) o Internet Choice mailing (bilingual) o Hand-delivered packet (Update/Leave) o Counted in-person (Update/Enumerate) o Counted in-person (Remote Alaska) MS. WILBER encouraged legislators to use the online U.S. Census Bureau tool to review census counting by districts. She noted that the slide shows a Facebook page that shared a photo of census takers in Aniak. The announcement normalized a local moment for random people roaming around the community. The Facebook announcement looks simple but it makes a huge difference and that is the kind of needed outreach that will make the census work in Alaska. MS. WILBER reiterated that the census is 10 questions, it takes 10 minutes, but it has 10 years of impact and everyone can make a difference in this area. 4:38:21 PM SENATOR MICCICHE noted that he signed up with Alaska Counts during the presentation. He suggested that Alaska should make the woman in Toksook Bay a superstar for being the first person counted of 280 million Americans. He asked for the woman's name. MS. WOLF answered that the woman's first name is Lizzie, [Lizzie Chimiugak Nenguryarr]. She noted the article about Lizzie in the Washington Post that has gone all over the world. She said Lizzie is Alaska's Rockstar. CHAIR BISHOP thanked the Alaska Census Working Group and Alaska Counts. He said the individuals involved in the census are passionate about what they do and for a good reason, $3.2 billion. 4:40:02 PM KORENA NOVY, Assistant Regional Census Manager, U.S. Census Bureau, Los Angeles Census Center, Los Angeles, California, noted that the bureau has an area office in downtown Anchorage that is responsible for the entire state. She explained that her overview will go over the bureau's staffing status, where the bureau is now, and where the bureau plans to go forward deeper into peak operations. She detailed that she will also go over a summary of operations conducted in Alaska and their schedules, especially for operations that are very specific to Alaska. She added that she will show what the bureau has done and what the bureau still needs to do to get a complete count. MS. NOVY displayed slide 3 that lists the management staff in the Area Census Office. She pointed out that the U.S. Census Bureau has a full management staff in the Alaska area office. She said what is unique about Mr. Bottorff, Area Manager, and his position is that most of bureau's area managers are based out of the regional census center. However, the bureau made a deliberate decision to hire an area manager who lives and has lived for a considerable amount of time in Alaska. Not only does Mr. Bottorff live in Alaska and have close knowledge, he is also the only area manager focused on just one area census office in one state. Mr. Bottorff can get as much census support in the state as possible. MS. NOVY detailed that the U.S. Census Bureau has an area census office manager, a lead census field manager, three census field managers focused on remote Alaska operations, three census field managers to focus on the other peak operations, and a recruiting manager who has recruited 9,690 applicants. She added that the bureau also has an administrative manager and an IT manager. 4:42:08 PM CHAIR BISHOP asked her to explain the recruiting managers' responsibilities. MS. NOVY explained that the recruiting managers who are interested in working in the census are not currently employees. CHAIR BISHOP asked if recruiting managers are considered potential employees. MS. NOVY answered yes. She displayed the chart showing the ACO office and field Staff. She detailed that the bureau office is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to make sure the field staff have enough support. During peak census operations the bureau office will extent hours to get all the necessary work done to complete the count. She said the bureau has selected 558 enumerators who are eligible to work rural Alaska. The reason for not deploying enumerators is because the way the bureau conducts remote Alaska operations is to travel from village to village and location to location. Enumerator training occurs at each location so deployment numbers will increase over the next couple of months. She noted that NRFU selection will start on February 14 and NRFU enumerator selection starts on March 7. 4:45:19 PM MS. NOVY displayed slide 5, Type of Enumeration Area 4 Remote Alaska. It read as follows: • Remote AK (RA Update Enumerate) is the method used to enumerate the most sparsely settled and isolated parts of Alaska, requiring special travel, early enumeration, and other special arrangements. • Enumerators verify the location of each housing unit and knock on doors to conduct interviews. • As enumeration is completed for a village, the count will be validated by a sworn-in local official. This process allows village leaders to review and certify the count for accuracy. • The enumeration of group quarters, transitory locations, or any unusual housing situations in these areas will be conducted as part of the Remote Alaska operation. MS. WOLF noted that on the map on slide 6, the purple area represents remote Alaska operations and the green area is all other peak operations. She said the bureau has an expansive geography to cover over the next couple of months. MS. NOVY displayed slide 7, Remote Alaska Group Quarters and Transitory Locations, that read as follows: • Collected information on Group Quarters and Transitory Locations during Initial Village Visit Operation (August October 2019). • GQ and TL Advance Letters sent 12/16/2019. • GQ and TL Advance Contact started 1/13/20 with clerks making calls from ACO and updating the GQ and TL Production Control Systems. • GQs have the option to do eResponse, In Person Interviews, or Paper Response Data Collection. 4:47:53 PM MS. NOVY displayed slide 8, Remote Alaska Milestones, that contained the following information: • CFS Selections: October 17-31, 2019 • Enumerator Selections: November 22-December 6, 2019 • Early CFS Training (For Initial Village Visits): July 22, 2019 • Clerical Training: December 16-18, 2019 • CFS Training (on a flow): December 9, 2019-January 31, 2020 • Remote Alaska Wave 1: January 21-February 17, 2020 • Remote Alaska Wave 2: February 18-March 17, 2020 • Remote Alaska Wave 3, March 18-April 30, 2020 • Enumerator On-the Job Training: January 21-April 23, 2020 4:49:01 PM MS. NOVY displayed slide 9, Type of Enumeration Area 1 Self Response, that read as follows: • Self Response is the primary response data collection methodology for the 2020 Census. • Initial invitations to participants in these areas are provided by letter, postcard, or census questionnaire. This invitation will have a unique ID associated with the housing unit and will be delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). • Most households in the country will receive a series of up to 5 mailings from mid-March through end of April invitation letter, reminder postcards, paper questionnaire. • Residents are encouraged to complete their questionnaire on the internet. • Residents will also have an option to respond via phone or paper response. • Residents who have not responded by a specific date will be included in the Nonresponse follow-up (NRFU) operation. MS. NOVY noted that one thing not included in the slide is the bureau's Field Verification Field Operation. She said a lot of people seem to be interested in the follow up operation conducted during NRFU. MS. NOVY noted that there will be households that respond to the census that do not have a special census ID. When the bureau receives those responses, they will crosscheck addresses with a master address file (MAF). NFRU enumerators will receive unconfirmed household addresses to verify that the addresses still exist. An interview does not occur because the bureau already obtained the census information, but the bureau captures the address data. CHAIR BISHOP remarked that the U.S. Post Office ought to be running in the black during the census in March and April. 4:51:07 PM MS. NOVY explained that on slide 10, the light purple area on the map designates self-response and non-response follow up if needed. MS. NOVY displayed slide 11, Non-Response Follow-up Milestones, that contained the following information: • CFS Selection (Early NRFU): January 10-24, 2020 • Enumerator Selection: January 30-February 13, 2020 • Early NRFU CFS Training: March 10-18, 2020 • Early NRFU Enumerator Training: March 30-April 8, 2020 • Early NRFU Operation begins April 9, 2020 • NRFU Re-interview begins April 10, 2020 • NRFU CFS Training: April 14-22, 2020 • NRFU Enumerator Training: May 2-14, 2020 • NRFU Operation begins May 13, 2020 • NRFU Production Ends July 24, 2020 • NRFY Re-interview Ends July 31, 2020 MS. NOVY said the bureau has met some of the milestones already. She said Early NRFU will occur in blocks in and around college universities where students may have moved once the NRFU operations start. The Early NRFU allows the bureau to capture students before they go home. MS. NOVY displayed slide 12, Type of Enumeration Area 2 Update Enumerate, that read as follows: • Update Enumerate (UE) is designed to be conducted in areas where the initial visit requires both updating the address and conducting enumeration in remote geographic areas that present unique challenges with accessing housing units. • Goal to minimize the needed number of personal visits. • The majority of the UE operation will occur in remote geographic areas in Southeast Alaska. MS. NOVY said the UE is also very specific to Alaska. The bureau only does the UE in Maine and Alaska. 4:53:10 PM MS. NOVY explained that on slide 13, the turquoise areas of the map represent UE non-remote. She said the enumerations are not all captured on the map. She MS. NOVY displayed a chart showing updated enumerate milestones that contained the following information. • CFS Selections: December 26, 2019-January 9, 2020 • Enumerator Assistant Selections: January 3-17, 2020 • Enumerator Selections: January 10-24, 2020 • CFS Training: February 24-28, 2020 • Enumerator Assistant Training: March 3-6, 2020 • Enumerator Training: March 10-13 • UE Begins: March 16, 2020 • UE Listing QC Begins: March 19, 2020 • UE RI Begins: March 23, 2020 • UE Ends: April 23, 2020 • UE Listing QC and RI Ends: April 30, 2020 MS. NOVY displayed slide 15, Type of Enumeration Area 6 Update Leave, that read as follows: • Update leave (UL) is designed to be conducted in areas where the majority of housing units either do not have mail delivered to the physical location of the housing unit, or the mail delivery information for the housing unit cannot be verified; e.g. areas with a high concentration of HUs without city-style addresses, areas affected by natural disasters, areas with a high concentration of seasonally vacant units. • Enumerators canvass assignment areas to update census address and map information and leave an invitation to participate in the Census. • Residents who do not responds via phone, paper, or internet by a certain date will be followed up with as part of the NRFU operation. MS. NOVY explained that the UL is the last type of operation and enumeration conducted only in Alaska. UL feeds into NRFU when necessary. 4:55:16 PM MS. NOVY displayed slide 16, Type of Enumeration Area (TEA). She noted that Alaska is the only state that has every type of enumeration involved in getting a complete count. She emphasized that the bureau wants to count everyone. MS. NOVY displayed slide 17, Update Leave Milestones, that contains the following information: • CFS Selection: December 20, 2019-January 3, 2020 • Enumerator Selection: January 6-17, 2020 • CFS Training: February 18-27, 2020 • QC CFS Training: February 26-March 6, 2020 • Enumerator Training: March 6-13, 2020 • QC Enumerator Training: March 13-20, 2020 • Conduct UL: March 15-April 10, 2020 • Conduct UL QC: March 22-April 17, 2020 • Reminder Letter Mailed: April 1, 2020 • Reminder Postcard Mailed: April 20, 2020 MS. NOVY displayed slide 18, Group Quarters Operations, that read as follows: • Through a series of Group Quarters (GQ) Operations, we enumerate a diverse range of group living arrangements, including specialized institutional and non-institutional facilities. Resident services provided at GQs may include custodial or medical care as well as other types of assistance, and residency is commonly restricted to those receiving these services. • Service-Based Enumeration (SBE) provides an opportunity for people without conventional housing or people experiencing homelessness to be included in the census by enumerating them at places where they receive services, or at pre- identified outdoor locations. • Enumeration of Transitory Locations (ETL) is a relatively small but very critical operation to count residents who do not have a usual residence. Types of Transitory Locations (TL) include RV parks, campgrounds, hotels/motels, marinas, racetracks, and carnivals. MS. NOVY explained that the U.S. Census Bureau conducts enumerations in federal prisons. Detainees only have one option and that is with eResponse. Federal detainees in the custody of the Bureau of Indian Affairs have five avenues to respond to the census via area census offices. The same method applies to other correctional facilities throughout all the states. 4:58:25 PM She displayed slide 20, Enumeration at Military Installations, that contained the following information: • The Anchorage ACO has multiple major military installations within its boundary including: o Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson o Eielson AFB o Fort Wainwright o Coast Guard Station Kodiak • The Census Bureau works directly with the military to count military personnel on military installations. MS. NOVY detailed that the bureau works directly with the military to count military personnel on installations as part of the bureau's GQ series of operations. Military residents or military GQ residents are personnel living in barracks and dorms located in the installation. Military residents only have the option of self-enumeration which means they can eResponse their residence or bureau staff will drop off census information and pick them up when they have completed enumeration. CHAIR BISHOP asked if the census count at Eielson Air Force Base can occur when the 3,500 personnel arrive. MS. NOVY answered that she would follow up with the answer. SENATOR MICCICHE noted that the bureau has approximately 6,000 employees for approximately 735,000 Alaskans, roughly 1 employee per 122 residents. He asked if Alaska is particularly difficult to count. MS. NOVY replied some areas in Alaska are more difficult than areas in other ACO districts and states, mainly because Alaska is one of two states that still do a paper enumeration, which is time consuming and requires more staff. 5:01:03 PM SENATOR SHOWER noted Chair Bishop's comment on Eielson Air Force Base and said the population increase is not insignificant due to the more rural aspect of the base. He pointed out that Eielson AFB will receive roughly $1 billion in military construction and host two full-sized squadrons. The population increase in the small area and the use of resources will be significant, especially with added family members. He asked if the bureau could account forward for the increased population and resource use. He said the resources flowing in will not be allocated correctly because of the big population move. MS. NOVY agreed that the population change at Eielson AFB is significant. She said the census count depends on the date of residency because everything is based on a reference date of April 1, 2020. She explained that she would not be able to answer the question until she knows when those individuals live on the base or within the installation. 5:02:20 PM MS. NOVY displayed slide 19, Group Quarters Milestones, that contained the following information: • GQAC Clerical Training: January 30-31, 2020 • Conduct GQAC Office Operation: February 3-March 6, 2020 • GQAC CFS Training: February 18-19, 2020 • GQE CFS Training: March 9-12, 2020 • GQE CFS Assistant Training: March 17-20, 2020 • GQE Enumerator Training: March 24-27, 2020 • Conduct Service Based Enumeration (SBE): March 30-April 1, 2020 • Conduct GQE: April 1-June 5, 2020 • Conduct Domestic Violence Shelters (DVS): April 1-15, 2020 • Conduct GQE RI: April 1-June 5, 2020 • eResponse Cutoff: May 1, 2020 • Late GQE: July 1-31, 2020 MS. NOVY noted that the SBE will conduct enumerations in shelters, soup kitchens, mobile food vans, and Targeted Non- Sheltered Outdoor Location Enumerations (TNSOL) for those individuals experiencing homelessness. MS. NOVY explained that the Late GQE will occur after the Federal State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE), reviews the bureau's early GQ results in late June. FSCPE will identify potentially missing or misallocated GQs within their states. The bureau's early results will also allow for GQ case reviews for specific facilities and locations where enumerators did not get a response. The nonresponse could be due to refusal or GQ availability at the time of the enumeration. The early GQ numbers will allow the bureau to update contact information and proceed with its Late GQE in July. 5:05:19 PM MS. NOVY said her census overview covered the different series of operations that the U.S. Census Bureau will conduct for enumerations. She specified that she just works on operations and not on preparation for the census. SENATOR SHOWER asked when the U.S. Census Bureau will release the final 2020 Census results. MS. NOVY answered that the bureau will deliver the census results to the President on January 31, 2021 and four years later the early results come out. SENATOR MICCICHE asked how the U.S. Census Bureau accounts for Alaskans experiencing homelessness that are essentially using services of some sort but live in camps and not in shelters. MS. NOVY answered that identifying individuals experiencing homelessness is extremely difficult. The bureau works with several hundred outreach partners as well as stakeholder organizations based in Alaska to identify the locations and facilities that serve individuals that may be experiencing homelessness. The bureau also works with its geography department to identify locations. The bureau will be training some early CFSs for GQAC to pre-identify and confirm transitory outdoor locations. The bureau is getting prepared as early as possible for the TONSOL and SBE operations. 5:08:01 PM CHAIR BISHOP said he is very confident and impressed by the census presenters' enthusiasm and dedication to detail to get a complete count. He said kudos to the U.S. Census Bureau for what they are doing to execute the census and their follow-up is remarkable. 5:09:04 PM There being no further business to come before the committee, Chair Bishop adjourned the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting at 5:09 p.m.

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SSSB 121 ver. M.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
SB 121
SB121 Sponsor Statement ver. M.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
SB 121
SB121 Langauge Repealed 1-31-2020.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
SB 121
SB121 Resolutions and Letters- Member Orgainzations- 2-4-2020.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
SB 121
US Census Bureau Presentation.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
Census 2020
Alaska Counts - Senate CRA Hearing 2-4-20.pdf SCRA 2/4/2020 3:45:00 PM
Census 2020