By Peter Goonan
SPRINGFIELD — As controversy swirls around the upcoming 2020 census, local and regional officials are working on strategies to spread the word and get the most accurate count possible.
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said he will form a “Springfield Complete Count Committee” that will be co-chaired by Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola-Lopez and the mayor’s chief of staff, Thomas Ashe.
“We must make sure our City voices are heard and represented properly in order for all our funding resources to be at maximum capacity,” Sarno said in a statement. “This is about continuing to reinvest in our Springfield community.”
In Springfield, officials are planning a “Census 2020 Informational Briefing” for Monday at 11 a.m. at City Hall that will detail strategies for a strong census effort and results.
Officials planning to take part in the briefing include Sarno, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, Oyola-Lopez, and state Reps. Bud Williams and Paul Mark. Mark, D-Peru, is chairman House Committee on Redistricting. Williams, D-Springfield, is vice chairman. Others planning to attend are representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
The census, conducted nationwide every 10 years, is used to determine the number of representatives in Congress a region will have, and can also affect opportunities for federal funding.