Executive Order 18-09

Creating the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee

WHEREAS, Article I, Section 2 of the United State Constitution requires an enumeration of the population every ten years to apportion congressional representation among the states; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 141 of Title 13 of the United States Code, the next federal decennial census of the population will be taken on April 1, 2020; and

WHEREAS, Providence County, Rhode Island has hosted the only 2018 End-to-End Census Test, whereby the Census Bureau is researching and testing most major components of the 2020 census; and

WHEREAS, the 2020 Census will be used for Congressional reapportionment, redistricting, and for legislative redistricting, such that having a complete and accurate count of Rhode Island's population is essential for the fair representation of the citizenry in the U.S. Congress, the General Assembly, and the legislative bodies of local government; and

WHEREAS, the results of the census are the foundation for many important decisions made by federal and state government, including the disbursement of billions of dollars of federal funds to states based on population; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island and its local jurisdictions utilize census data to provide descriptions of the social and economic characteristics of geographic areas and population groups to determine those areas and groups' funding needs for infrastructure projects, economic development programs, job training, schools, and other activities; and

WHEREAS, it is vitally important for Rhode Island to do everything it can to ensure that every Rhode Islander is counted once, only once, and in the right place in the upcoming census; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Census Bureau identifies particular groups of residents as "hard-to-count" populations that have traditionally been undercounted in the decennial census process. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Racial and ethnic minorities
  2. Non-fluent English speakers
  3. Lower-income persons
  4. Homeless persons
  5. Undocumented immigrants
  6. Young mobile persons
  7. Children
  8. LGBTQ persons; and

WHEREAS, it is critically important that census outreach and education efforts focus on reaching these hard-to-count populations to ensure the results of the Census are as accurate as possible; and

WHEREAS, it will take the collaboration of community leaders, faith organizations, non-profit organizations, local government, legislative leaders and the Governor of the State of Rhode Island to raise public awareness of the importance of the census and to find ways to support the census efforts; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Census Bureau recommends that each state create a State Complete Count Commission; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gina M. Raimondo, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby order the creation of the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee.


The Rhode Island Complete Count Committee shall be co-chaired by the Governor (or designee) and an additional appointee of the Governor. In addition, the Committee may consist of, but shall not be limited to, representatives of:

  1. The Rhode Island House of Representatives and Rhode Island Senate;
  2. State government;
  3. Local governments;
  4. The Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns;
  5. Hard-to-count populations;
  6. A federally-recognized Native American tribe located in Rhode Island;
  7. The business community, including a representative of minority-owned business;
  8. K-12 and higher education;
  9. Youth;
  10. Senior citizens;
  11. The philanthropic community;
  12. Organized labor;
  13. The faith community; and
  14. The health care community


The committee shall develop, recommend, and assist in the administration of a census outreach strategy to encourage full participation in the 2020 federal decennial census of population.

The census outreach strategy shall include, but not be limited to, state agency initiatives to encourage participation in the 2020 Census, the establishment and support of school-based outreach programs, partnerships with non-profit community-based organizations, and a multi-lingual, multi-media campaign designed to ensure an accurate and complete count of Rhode Island's population.

The Committee shall collaborate and coordinate with the United States Bureau of the Census and any other groups established in the State of Rhode Island in identifying and carrying out the state's outreach strategy.

The Rhode Island Complete Count Committee outreach strategy shall be coordinated through the Office of the Governor and the Division of Statewide Planning, which shall provide administrative support to the committee and coordinate with all state agencies and constitutional officers, as well as units of local government, to identify effective methods of outreach to Rhode Islanders and to provide resources to ensure the outreach program is successful and that all Rhode Islanders are counted.

To assist in carrying out its duties, the committee may create and appoint subcommittees as it deems appropriate and shall solicit participation from relevant experts and practitioners involved in census issues.

Members of the committee shall serve terms that expire December 31, 2020. Vacancies in the committee shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment. The membership of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services. All departments and agencies of the state and local government shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to the committee and its agents deemed necessary or desirable by the committee to facilitate the purposes of this resolution. The Department of Administration is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for the committee; and be it further

RESOLVED, The committee shall submit an interim report to the Governor and General Assembly by March 1, 2019, containing its recommended outreach strategy to encourage full participation and to avoid an undercount in the 2020 Census; thereafter, the committee shall submit its final report to the Governor and General Assembly no later than June 30, 2019, specifying its recommended outreach strategy for implementation for the 2020 Census, and the committee shall expire on December 31, 2020.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

So Ordered,

Gina M. Raimondo