Archive for Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Take time to count yourself in census

March 15, 2000

Some of us already have received questionnaires from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This week, postal workers began delivering envelopes with the "United States Census 2000" logo on it and a Bureau of the Census return address. The envelopes also bear this message: U.S. Census form Enclosed. Your Response is Required by Law.

"We've designed a distinctive-looking package, so everyone will know that this, and only this, is the official census form with a bar code for their household. We want it to stand out from the stacks of other mail because it could, in fact, be the most important piece of mail delivered in the weeks ahead," said Kenneth Prewitt, director of the Census Bureau.

"The census is as important to our nation as highways and telephone lines. It's how America knows what America needs. It will provide the data that will help target more than $2 trillion in federal funds during the next decade for schools, employment services, housing assistance, hospital services, programs for the elderly and much more."

The U.S. Congress uses the census to determine how many representatives each state has. And Kansas officials will use the numbers to determine how to allocate seats in the Legislature.

Businesses, too, depend on census information. They review the numbers to determine where to locate.

But no one will have a true picture of our area, unless there is 100 percent participation in Census 2000.

Ultimately, about 98 million questionnaire packages will be delivered by U.S. Postal Service letter carriers. About 83 million households will receive the census short form, which asks seven questions, while about 15 million will receive the long form, which has 52 questions.

Some forms are being hand-delivered by Census Bureau enumerators to housing units that do not use street names and house numbers for mail delivery. That operation, conducted mostly in rural areas, began March 3.

Let's pledge to count ourselves among Americans who mail back the Census questionnaire by Census Day, which is April 1. It's beneficial for all of us in northeast Kansas.

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