December East County Issue Forum
2020 U.S. Census Recap
December 3rd, 3:00-4:30
Zoom Recording: December 2020 East County Issue Forum.mp4
Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann
Multnomah County Auditor Jennifer McGuirk
Vicki Cram, Squire Patton Boggs
Marc Czornij, US Census Bureau
Ethan Sharygin, Population Research Center, Portland State University
Shawneen O'Brien-Lee, Equity & Inclusion Office, Office of Governor Kate Brown
Layan Ammouri, Multnomah County
Adam Bristow, Multnomah County
Q: Is there any chance that we could have additional districts
A: New districts would first have to be created in the County Charter. That would be a task, potentially, for the Charter Review Committee, which people can apply to starting in January, I believe.
The Charter direction to my office states: “the auditor shall determine the population distribution among the commissioner districts specified by this charter.”
Q: District 4 has historically become the most underrepresented between redistricting efforts. Will next year's redistricting reflect this in any way?
A: The Charter authorizes redistricting based on population. That said, we also look at existing population groups and other factors, such as socio-economics.
Q: Since all of the government bodies are redistricting at the same time (though their overall boundary does not change), how are their zone/district boundaries considered?
A: we try to use existing geographic boundaries, major transportation links, and general jurisdictional boundaries wherever possible. If there is a potential for a boundary to change, we avoid using that boundary.
Q: Was the houseless/homeless census program conducted in Gresham? I know it says Multnomah County, but I had several people tell me they had not had done their census based on being houseless.
A: Yes, that operation was conducted across the county, including Gresham.
Q: how did Fairview do this year compared to 2020?
A: Fairview saw big improvements, those two tracts were hard to count and we saw great efforts there.
Q: Where there be a new effort (collaborate) for redistricting? County wise or statewide?
A: Every time we redistrict, we offer public engagement opportunities to get input on the boundary changes. Redistricting is not in the scope of the census project in the Governor’s office but there is a census liaison working with the legislator. It’s more of a mathematical exercise at the county level to balance populations. A lot of the collaboration is done in the enumeration process to get a complete count.
Q: Why is it so important to have a higher self response rate?
A: In terms of data collection, we have more reliable and accurate date when more people self-respond. Also follow up to the question about a higher response rate - we are able to have a more accurate picture of our communities with a higher self-response rate - especially in previously underrepresented communities. That helps with service delivery and grant applications.
Q: Vicki - will there be any serious issues with the passage of the defense bill and the ability to sue social media companies?
A: He has threatened but congress is likely to override any potential veto.