[StBernard] Census Bureau Says It's Not Too Late to Mail Back 2010 Census Forms

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Apr 7 08:51:01 EDT 2010

Census Bureau Says It's Not Too Late to Mail Back 2010 Census Forms

41 percent of St. Bernard Parish residents have mailed in their Census forms

Elected officials and community leaders across the nation took part in
"Census Day" activities to increase local participation in the 2010 Census,
and the U.S. Census Bureau has announced that there is still time for
residents to mail back Census forms to ensure that their questionnaires will
be received soon enough to avoid a visit by a census taker who will gather
the information in person.

The Census Bureau is urging communities nationwide to take charge of their
2010 Census mail participation rates. Anyone can visit the 2010 Census Web
site to see how well their state, county or neighborhood is participating in
the census at 2010.Census.Gov. For instance, as of the first week in April,
62 percent of the nation's estimated 134 million households had mailed back
their census forms. St. Bernard's participation rate is 41 percent.

St. Bernard Parish Craig Taffaro said it is critical for local residents to
return their forms by mail. Currently the parish has an estimated population
of 43,000, but it is necessary for every household to mail in their forms
for the 2010 Census.

According to the Census figures, each form that is mailed back returns
$1,300 in federal tax dollars back to the community. For St. Bernard's
current estimated population of 43,000, that would mean about $55 million
annually would return to St. Bernard to help fund a variety of programs such
as assistance for transportation, roads, law enforcement, education, and
special programs for children and the elderly.

As of April 6, the Census participation rate tracker on line showed that St.
Bernard had a good mail participation rate of 41 percent, higher than some
surrounding parishes, but President Taffaro and other leaders encouraged all
residents to remember to mail in their forms.

In St. Bernard Parish, Census officials are hand delivering the forms to
people's door steps to ensure everyone gets one. However, if you have not
received your form or if you have lost it, visit the St. Bernard Government
Complex at 8201 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette to get another one. There
is a full list of sites where Census Forms may be picked up locally on
2010.Census.gov and on www.sbpg.net <http://www.sbpg.net/> .

2010 Census asks 10 basic questions

All 2010 Census forms ask households to list persons living in their homes,
apartments or mobile homes as of April 1, 2010. The date is not a deadline
but the point in time at which everyone is to be counted where they live and
sleep most of the time.

"The April 1 date is when a statistical 'snapshot' of America is taken,"
Gabriel Sanchez, Director of the Dallas Regional Census Center. "Information
reflected on April 1 will help draw a complete portrait of America." By law,
the Census Bureau must collect and compile a nationwide tally and present it
to the President by Dec. 31.

"The Census Bureau and I would like to thank everyone who has already taken
10 minutes to fill out and mail back the 2010 Census," Census Bureau
Director Robert Groves said. "For those who have not yet had a chance to
send it back, I'd like to reiterate that it's not too late to participate
and doing so will save a lot of taxpayer money."

Beginning May 1, census workers will begin going door to door to households
that failed to mail back their forms -- a massive operation that costs
taxpayers an average of $57 per household versus the 42 cents it takes to
get a response back by mail.

"If you don't want someone knocking on your door in May, complete and mail
back your Census questionnaire today," Sanchez said. "It takes about 10
minutes to complete and will affect the next 10 years of your community's

The purpose is to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among
the states. Census figures are also used for a host of other planning and
funding purposes, including the disbursement of more than $400 billion in
federal funds annually to states and communities. Responding to the Census
is a foundational act of endorsement in our democracy and one of the few
civic duties of people living in the United States.

Census figures will anchor almost every scientific American poll and study
done during the coming 10 years, as they have been for decades. The data
collected and the figures compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau will be used by
businesses that are seeking to locate new stores or factories; by highway
and city planners who are configuring commute patterns, residential areas
and zoning areas for proposed retail centers.

Across the country and, indeed, around the world, the most credible
statistical information is followed by the words: "According to figures
compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau."

The credibility of the Census relies on keeping the information you provide
absolutely confidential. The Census does not share any personally
identifiable information with any other individual or agency, including the
Internal Revenue Service or immigration authorities. In fact, every Census
worker swears a confidentiality privacy oath that he or she will not divulge
any personal information in their lifetime, or face fines of up to $250,000
and up to five years in prison. The Census Bureau takes the obligation

Census Day serves as the point-in-time benchmark for the nation's population
count for the next 10 years. April 1 has been designated by law as Census
Day since 1930. Before that, the decennial population count's reference date
fell on different days, such as Aug. 7 in 1820, June 1 in 1880, and April 15
in 1910. Severe weather conditions during the 1920 Census, which had a
Census Day of Jan. 2, led to the April 1 date when weather would be
temperate enough to allow census takers to travel within their assignment


The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is
mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion
congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in
federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make
decisions about what community services to provide. The 2010 Census form is
one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking
about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the
respondents and the information they provide.

For more information about the 2010 Census and to view our area's mail
participation rate, visit 2010.Census.Gov. If you need help filling out the
form, please call: 866-872-6868. To get questionnaire assistance in Spanish,
call 866-928-2010.

For local information about the Census, contact Karen Turni Bazile in the
President's Office at 504-278-4280 or kbazile at sbpg.net. For more information
about Recovery and Growth in St. Bernard Parish, visit our website at
<https://mail.sbpg.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.sbpg.net/> .


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