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Emporia-Greensville Complete Count Committee Chair John Holtkamp puts up a sign on the eastern side of Emporia.

The Greensville Emporia Complete Count Committee was one of five in the Commonwealth invited to attend the final Virginia Complete Count Commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. Other invited localities include Powhatan County, Loudoun County, Norfolk, and Alexandria. The virtual conference is from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Overall, Virginia had a 99.9% response rate,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson said. “Our total self-response rate was 71.5%, which was higher than in 2010 and put at us 5th in the Country. It was, and remains, a challenging Census for many reasons, but we should all be proud at the way Virginians worked together to be counted.”

The Greensville Emporia Complete Count Committee formed last fall, headed by John Holtkamp. The committee worked hand in hand with Census 2020 leaders in the region.

The group’s work was slowed by the pandemic, but it did not stop them. In September, the Greensville Emporia Complete Count Committee converged on the Falling Run and Brook Ridge Apartments sites to get citizens to fill out the Census. The U.S. Census is a Constitutional mandate that requires a count of the population. The number of members each state has in the House of Representatives is determined by the U.S. Census as is the number of electoral college numbers each state has for the U.S. president. It has occurred every 10 years since 1790. New York and Ohio lost two seats in the House of Representatives following the 2010 census.

The Greensville Emporia Complete Count Committee idea was brought before the Emporia City Council in the spring of 2019 by Shirley Gilliam, 2020 Census Partnership Specialist. Gilliam worked with the Greensville Emporia Complete Count Committee throughout the process. On Nov. 17, the group’s efforts will be recognized.

“It’s very nice to hear our efforts are being noticed,” committee member Denise Mille said. “I’ll echo what others have said in John has been a fantastic chair and kept this thing going. “I’m proud to be a part of this group.”