Commentary by the U.S. Census Bureau
CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 31, 2009: Every 10 years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation conducts a census – an effort to count every person living in the United States. The 2010 Census aims to accurately count everyone residing in the U.S., regardless of their age, gender, race, faith, ethnicity, income level, orientation, or immigration status.
The 2010 Census will have one of the shortest census questionnaires in the history of the United States, dating back to the nation’s first census in 1790, and should take only a few minutes on average to complete.
All answers are protected by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, which strictly forbids Census Bureau from sharing of any personally identifiable information with any other government or private agency. The law also stipulates that any violation will be subject to a $250,000 fine and/or a 5 year prison sentence.
The aim of this historic endeavor is to ensure that every household fills out and mails back a completed census form on or around April 1, 2010. Participation is critical, as the results determine how representation in Congress is apportioned and how more than $435 billion in federal funds will be distributed annually to states and communities during the next decade. The results will impact local families’ quality of life in numerous ways, ranging from economic and educational investment decisions to social and health services, and from job training to language assistance programs.
The New York Regional Census Center (NYRCC), which includes the ten northern counties of New Jersey and the nine southern counties of New York, has expanded its Partnership and Data Services (PDS) program by hiring and training close to 200 specialized staff members. The staff aims to be as diverse as the communities they serve, and the PDS staff is currently fluent in close to 40 languages. The PDS program goal is to increase the region’s mail response rate, maximize the accuracy of the count, and improve overall collaboration with census takers.
One of the key PDS strategies is to partner with community-based organizations of all types, ranging from social service organizations to cultural and religious groups, businesses to educational institutions, and media to elected officials. Together, PDS staff and census partners are raising awareness and promoting participation in the upcoming census. Census partners and local residents are also invited to participate in local Complete Count Committees (CCCs).
CCCs are volunteer teams consisting of community leaders, elected officials, faith-based groups, schools, businesses, media outlets and others who work together to make sure entire communities are counted. PDS staff will provide materials and support all CCC efforts.
For more information about partnering with the 2010 Census, contact the NY Regional Census Office at (212) 356-3100, and ask to speak with a Partnership staff member. More information can be found at www.2010census.gov.