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Black Mountain man appointed to state census commission

Karrigan Monk   | Black Mountain News

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Keith Thomson of Black Mountain has been appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Complete Count Commission.

Thomson said the purpose of the commission is to promote outreach for residents to complete the 2020 census. He said he was nominated for the position because he has been an active community leader.

Thomson has lived in Buncombe County since the 1980s and is the owner of MountainScape Information Systems Inc., where he provides IT support for local businesses and nonprofit groups.

His role will be to serve as a citizen volunteer on the board to help with outreach in Western North Carolina, specifically for residents who are difficult to reach and count.

Residents who are difficult to reach are typically those who are older or live in rural areas. Thomson said going door-to-door would normally be an approach to reach these residents, but the coronavirus has postponed these efforts.

Still, Thomson said there are ways to reach out.

“I would encourage people to reach out and help their neighbors be able to be counted,” Thomson said. “I think mountain people have always stood up and been proud to be counted, and now is our chance.”

Thomson said it is important to complete the census because responses are used to provide support for the community.

“This is our time. Our parents and grandparents and all the way back to 1790 people have been counted so we know what representation we get in Congress,” Thomson said. “Our tax money goes to Raleigh and to Washington and how much we’re due to get back to us for our health and education and our economic development and all the opportunities that we’re going to need even more now.”