REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Complete Count Committee
November 9, 2020
Good afternoon, everyone.
Besides being required by the Constitution, you all know as well as I do that an accurate census count is the bedrock of fair representation in our government.
I just want to take this moment to thank every single one of you for all of your efforts to help raise awareness about the 2020 Census and its importance for our state. 2020 has proven to be a challenging year to try to count every single Oregonian.
We faced barrier after barrier to achieving a complete and fair count — including flooding in Umatilla, a global pandemic, and an historic wildfire season. It was incredible to see how quickly efforts were adjusted in order to continue safely getting out the count across the state.
On top of these challenges, the Trump administration has politicized the 2020 Census at every single turn.
● First, they underfunded the census, which meant we had to step in to help fund census outreach efforts to engage hard-to-count communities.
● Next, they attempted to add a citizenship question to the census to intimidate and exclude those communities.
● Then, the Trump administration shortened the timeline, making it even more difficult to complete an accurate count.
There is nothing fair, equitable, or Constitutional about what happened this year.
We cannot have equity in our government unless we have a clear and accurate representation of everyone who calls this country home.
But nevertheless, you persisted. You all showed the resilience of our state every single day with your time and efforts given, calls made, press questions answered, and social media posted. All of these happened during the global pandemic.
I am pleased that we have achieved a 99.9% count according to the response rates as of October 27th! And Oregon’s self-response rate was 69.2%, which is well above the national average and a more than a 2 percentage point jump from 2010. With more people living in Oregon than ever before, that is no small feat.
I am grateful for the amazing work that’s been done by Oregon Complete Count Committee members. A special thanks to Oregon Complete Count’s outgoing Co-chairs, Rep. Andrea Salinas, Marcus Mundy and Chi Nguyen. Thank you for your dedication and determination to serving the people of Oregon.
I also want to thank the Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon, the We Count Oregon campaign, the U.S. Census Bureau staff in Oregon, state agencies, and all the other partners across the state who have devoted their time and resources to help ensure a fair and equitable count in our state.
I’m especially grateful for the work that you all have done with the Indian Country Subcommittee to prioritize outreach and communication efforts with Oregon Tribes. This work was spearheaded by Tribal members and for that they deserve a round of applause.
Thank you all so much for your efforts to get out the count this year, despite so many obstacles. I’m so proud of what our state has accomplished, and look forward to seeing what our communities can accomplish with more equitable federal representation and funding.