Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) Health Equity Manager Dora Muhammad joined Alexandria Bratton, Program Manager at the Virginia Civic Engagement Table (VCET), for the 2020 Census Community Townhall convened July 23, by the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary and hosted by the Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.  At the meeting, Governor Ralph Northam made a special announcement that an additional $1.5 million would be allocated from the Economic Contingency Fund to support education and outreach initiatives to ensure every person residing in Virginia is counted in the upcoming census.

The Governor’s announcement was met with enthusiastic applause and renewed excitement, particularly from health care advocates from organizations like VICPP who pushed to get the Governor’s allocation of $1.5 million returned to the state budget after it was stripped in the first budget review during 2019 General Assembly session.

VCET will soon unveil a statewide collaborative plan for their Virginia Counts project. The project is funded in part by the Potomac Health Foundation to focus on the Greater Prince William area in partnership with VICPP.  Work is underway engaging faith communities and building local complete count committees in the following 13 hard-to-count communities in the Greater Prince William region:  Aquia, Dale City, Dumfries, Garrisonville, Lake Ridge, Lorton, Manassas, Montclair, Occoquan, Quantico, Southbridge, Triangle and Woodbridge.

Collaborative efforts are developing with the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia’s Count the Region program to align our grassroots organizing with their five subgroups.  Prince William County’s Complete Count Commission serves as the hub of Census Bureau resources and local data to support the growing coalition.

If you live, work or worship in the region and want to get involved, email VICPP Health Equity Manager Dora Muhammad  at dora@virginiainterfaithcenter.org

Also, save the date for the upcoming Census Solutions Workshop by the Census Bureau where we officially kick off efforts in Prince William County: September 17th at 2pm in the McCoart Administration Building in Woodbridge.

(PHOTO: L-R): VCET Program Manager Alex Bratton, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Traci DeShazor, and VICPP Health Equity Manager Dora Muhammad at the 2020 Census Community townhall.