Gov. Kemp appoints gay lawmaker to 2020 Census task force

State Rep. Matthew Wilson was among the dozens of leaders that Gov. Brian Kemp appointed to a committee to ensure that all Georgia residents are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Wilson (photo right), one of five openly LGBTQ members of the legislature, said he was “grateful” to be named to the Complete Count Committee.

“The work of ensuring that all Georgians are counted — especially those from our most marginalized communities — is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” he told Project Q Atlanta. “Nearly 25 percent of Georgians register as hard-to-count. We must ensure they have an opportunity to be counted, too.”

Wilson joins 65 other elected officials, political party leaders and civic leaders on the Complete Count Committee. 

The data collected in the Census will determine how many representatives each state will get in Congress and how much federal funding each state will receive. The state’s political district maps will also be redrawn based on the data collected in the Census.

“The Census matters because of power and money,” Wilson said. “Ensuring a fair and accurate count means better healthcare, better schools, better social service programs, better transit options and better representation.”

Kemp (photo left) reportedly offered a position on the committee to Stacey Abrams, his opponent in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Abrams suggested Jeanine Abrams McLean, program director of Abrams’ census group Fair Count, according to the AJC. Kemp then named McLean, who is Abrams’ sister, to the committee. 

At least three LGBTQ people have been among the 80 appointments Kemp has made to state boards and criminal justice posts since taking office.

Kemp appointed an anti-LGBTQ activist to his transition team in November. He also appointed Allen Fox, a gay Republican who founded the group Georgia Republicans for the Future to oppose anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” legislation.

LGBTQ lawmakers called out Kemp in July for having an all-white senior staff, saying his appointments “fall well short of collectively representing Georgia’s population.”

Here are the members of Kemp’s Complete Count Committee:

Kerry Armstrong, Atlanta Regional Commission
Patty Bentley, State Representative, District 139
Frank Berry, Department of Community Health
Matt Brass, State Senator, District 28
Candice Broce, Office of the Governor
Otis Brumby, Georgia Press Association
Margaret Ciccarelli, Professional Association of Georgia Educators
Robyn Crittenden, Department of Human Services
Delores Crowell, DeKalb County Government
Derek Dabrowiak, Technical College System of Georgia
Hardie Davis, City of Augusta
Eddie DeLoach, City of Savannah
Matt Dubnik, State Representative, District 29
Judy Fitzgerald, Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities
John Gayle, City of Valdosta
Lori Geary, Lexicon Strategies
Mike Giles, Georgia Poultry Federation
Frank Ginn, State Senator, District 47
Larry Hanson, Georgia Municipal Association
Jeanine Abrams McLean, Fair Count
Laura Meadows, Carl Vinson Institute of Government
Rusty Haygood, Department of Community Affairs
Andy Herod, Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
Skip Henderson, City of Columbus
Bob Houghton, Georgia Association of Broadcasters
Dorothy Hubbard, City of Albany
Amy Jacobs, Department of Early Care and Learning
Tharon Johnson, Paramount Consulting Group, LLC
John King, Department of Insurance and Fire Safety
Dominic LaRiccia, State Representative, District 169
Gerald Long, Georgia Farm Bureau
Jodi Lott, State Representative, District 122
Brian Marlowe, Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce
Santiago Marquez, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tony Marshall, Georgia Health Care Association
Nealie McCormick, Council on American Indian Concerns; City of Pelham
Pat Merritt, Georgia EMC
Anna Miller, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget
Susan Miller, Department of Community Affairs
Jerald Mitchell, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Tyrone Oliver, Department of Juvenile Justice
Lamar Paris, Union County Commissioner
Sunny Patel, Office of the Governor
Billy Pittard, Association of County Commissioners of Georgia
Allen Poole, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Condace Pressley, Cox Media Group
Bert Reeves, State Representative, District 34
Robert Reichert, City of Macon
Edward Reynolds, City of Bainbridge
Johnna Robinson, Georgia Power
Mike Roby, Department of Veterans Service
Terry Rogers, State Representative, District 10
Jay Sanders, Department of Corrections
David Shafer, Chair, Georgia Republican Party
Gregg Simon, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Freddie Powell Sims, State Senator, District 12
Calvin Smyre, State Representative, District 135
Keith Stone, Office of the Georgia Secretary of State
Brian Strickland, State Senator, District 17
Tiffany Taylor, Department of Education
Blake Tillery, State Senator, District 19
Felita Williams, University System of Georgia
Nikema Williams, Chair, Democratic Party of Georgia
Matthew Wilson, State Representative, District 80
June Wood, Henry County Board of Commissioners
Mike Worley, Georgia Wildlife Federation