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Start a CCC

Want to start a Complete Count Committee (CCC) in your community? Here's your playbook. 

Before You Begin

Before you dive in, you'll want to ensure you and your prospective participants understand what a CCC is and why it exists.

What A Complete Count Committee Is

The Census Bureau needs help to count everyone. They enlist the assistance of partners—individuals, groups, and organizations across the nation that help them build awareness about the census and encourage communities to participate.

A CCC is a volunteer committee established by tribal, state, and local governments, or community leaders, to increase awareness about the census, and motivate residents in the community to respond. The committees work best when they include a diverse cross-section of community representatives from government agencies, educational institutions, businesses, religious organizations, and the media. The CCC is charged with developing and implementing a plan designed to target the unique needs of its community.

Types of Complete Count Committees

CCCs come in different types and sizes, depending on how they are organized and where they are located.

  • Government-sponsored CCCs may have a state, regional, or local focus, and operate within the jurisdiction of their highest elected official(s). Local government CCCs may include more than one jurisdiction. Most local government CCCs are small or medium in size depending on the jurisdiction. A small town may have a small committee with only three to five members, while a larger community’s CCC may be larger in size, with anywhere from 10 to more than 100 members, depending on the size of the city or tribe.
  • Community-sponsored CCCs may be organized by a community group or a coalition of community groups. A CCC may also be assumed by or assigned to an existing committee or group such as a city planning board, a regional planning commission, or a local community committee.

Why to Form a Complete Count Committee

A CCC should be formed to:

  • increase the response rate for residents mailing back their questionnaire through a focused, structured, neighbor-to-neighbor program;
  • utilize the local knowledge, expertise, and influence of each committee member to design and implement a census awareness campaign targeted to the community;
  • bring together a cross-section of community members whose focus is 2020 Census awareness;
  • develop strategies to reach hard-to-count residents;
  • build trust in the Census among their local stakeholders;
  • implement outreach strategies in their own community or organization; and
  • track and report progress and efforts.

Forming Your CCC

First Steps

Once you're oriented and ready to start your CCC, take these steps:

  • have the highest-ranking elected official or other community leader take formal action to establish and authorize the committee (see our sample resolution for creating a CCC);
  • schedule the committee's first meeting;
  • recruit members from a cross-section of community groups; and
  • create subcommittees -- each subcommittee should choose target populations and activities.

An example committee structure can be seen below.

CCC Org Chart

Strategies for Success

As your CCC comes together and starts working, consider implementing the best practices below. 

  • Set clear, achievable goals and objectives.
  • Identify targets (populations or areas) for aggressive outreach through:
    • direct community outreach—touching as many people as possible through swap meets, sports events, festivals, parades, etc.; and
    • strategic partnerships with counties, schools, state agencies, and community-based organizations.
  • Coordinate activities with other local CCCs throughout the state.
  • Create promotional materials and items for populations or areas identified (get started with the tools and templates in our document library).
  • Create events in key areas where none exist.

And remember, successful complete count committee involves a number of people, organizations and businesses from every part of the community. Be sure to visit our document library for factsheets, graphics, flyers and tool kits that can be used to support the work of your CCC team.

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