PITTSBURG — Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday signed an executive order establishing the Kansas Complete Count Committee “to ensure that every Kansan is represented in the 2020 Census,” according to a release from Kelly’s office.
“As Governor, I’m committed to ensuring the data we collect is as accurate as possible,” Kelly said, according to the release. “The data collected in the Census informs how the federal government distributes funds to our state – through 55 different federal programs. And it’s these funds that help to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more.”
For every person the U.S. Census fails to count, according to the governor’s office, Kansas stands to lose more than $1,500 in federal funds annually over the next 10 years.
“Brian McClendon of Lawrence and Joyce Warshaw of Dodge City will serve as co-chairs of the Kansas Complete Count Committee,” according to the release. “McClendon is a professor at the University of Kansas and the former Vice President of Google and Uber. Warshaw serves on the Board of Directors for the Kansas League of Municipalities and is a Dodge City Commissioner.”
In Crawford County, the total population does not appear to have changed dramatically in recent years. While the county population increased by more than 2,000 between the years 1990 and 2000, according to Census data, from 35,582 to 38,242, it had dropped by more than 2,000 between 1980 and 1990. The county population from 2000 to 2010 increased by less than 1,000 people, to 39,134. The latest Census estimate, as of July 2018, showed a slight decrease from that amount, to 39,019.
A similar trend is observable in the Census numbers for Cherokee County for the final decades of the 20th century: the population dropped by close to 1,000, from just over 22,300 in 1980 to 21,374 in 1990, then increased again by more than 1,000 to reach 22,605 at the time of the 2000 Census.
Since 2000, however, the population of Cherokee appears to have been steadily decreasing. The 2010 Census recorded 21,603 residents — a drop of almost exactly 1,000 people. As of July 2018, the Census estimated the population to have decreased by more than another 1,500 residents, to a total of 20,015 people living in the county.
“The Census matters because it impacts everything from school lunches to libraries to wastewater systems,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said, according to the release from the governor’s office. “It’s vital to Kansas businesses and communities that we have a full and accurate count in 2020, and Commerce is honored to work hand in hand with the Committee and local partners to make sure that happens.”
Kansas officials are not the only political figures to recently comment on the 2020 Census.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the Trump administration’s plan to include a question about residents’ citizenship status on the Census. President Trump himself additionally weighed in on the issue on Wednesday.
“The American people deserve to know who is in this Country. Yesterday, the Supreme Court took up the Census Citizenship question, a really big deal,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.
The conservative majority on the court “seemed ready Tuesday to uphold the Trump administration's plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, despite evidence that millions of Hispanics and immigrants could go uncounted,” the Associated Press reported.
The Pew Research Center estimates that as of 2016, there were 10.7 million “unauthorized immigrants” in the U.S., with 75,000 of those residing in Kansas.