The first one was in 1790.
The U.S. Census is mandated by the United States Constitution.
The published results of the 2010 U.S. Census MUST be on the desk of the President of the United States by the close of business on December 31, 2010.
The 2010 U.S. Census is unlike any previous Census.
It is one part of our participation in our Federal Government that is very important for many reasons.
The primary reason a Federal Census is conducted is for the apportionment of the population to the 435 members of the House of Representatives.
While each individual member of the House of Representatives may end up having fairly equal numbers of the population to represent, where that represented population may change as the result of the 2010 Census.
Another major reason to know where everyone lives is to determine where Federal Government spending is done. The areas where the population is the highest may receive more Federal Spending than other areas for social programs and other things.
Being counted in the U.S. Census is one of the best ways OUR community members can learn more about OUR community and help it in the future.
The U.S. Census Bureau is part of the Department of Commerce and the Federal Census is taken every 10 years on years ending in zero.
This year there is a new program with the U.S. Census that has been established and already has begun.
The first phase which has been underway for about three weeks is to find where everyone in the United States lives or could live.
The U.S. Census doesn't want to know who lives where yet. It wants to know where folks live or can live on properties all over the country.
You may have already seem employees of the U.S. Census Bureau in your neighborhood.
'Production Enumerators' or 'Listers' are canvasing the entire United States of America to determine where we all live or could live.
These individuals are walking individual neighborhoods all over the country wearing their identification badges, holding Hand Held Computers and gathering information dealing with locations of housing units and other places where we live or could live.
These workers will not need to enter private residences so if anyone claiming to represent the U.S. Census wants to enter you private home, DON'T LET THEM IN!
Several days to a week or so after the 'Production Listers' have finished a particular area, you may see another person carrying a similar Hand Held Commuter knock on your door or walk the streets of your neighborhood.
These folks are 'Quality Control Enumerators' or 'Listers' who are using a sample of the Production Lister's findings to verify the accuracy of the Address Lists compiled during the first canvasing of the area.
These folks also DO NOT need to enter your private residence, so don't let them in, either.
If you see a Production Lister or Quality Control Enumerator standing in your front yard holding their Hand Held Computer facing north, please do not worry. They are simply using G.P.S. to identify the location of your home on the maps being created by the Census Bureau.
In about April, 2010 your mailbox will contain a short form from the U.S. Census asking you specific questions about who you are and the identities of everyone living in your housing unit.
The U.S. Census Bureau encourages you to fill out the form as completely and as accurately as possible so we all can have a count on who lives in the United States and where our taxes should be spent.
As part of the following and to provide you with some information, I have been hired as a Quality Control Enumerator of the 2010 Census.
This phase of gathering addresses all across the United States should end on or about June 19, 2009 when a second phase is planned to gather information about group housing types.
During this first phase of the U.S. Census there are some important things you should know:
We could not care less whether the housing unit on a property is built using zoning codes or is even a legal residence. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone if you have converted a garage or shed into living quarters you are renting out.
We could not care less who you or anyone else is, in terms of personal identification.
We do not need or want to know if the residents of any living quarters is a citizen or not. We will not share information with I.C.E. because we don't care!
In this phase we won't ask you about names of folks who live in dwellings.
We just are trying our best to determine the addresses of where folks live or could live.
If we knock on your door, we should hand you a privacy notice. If we don't, ask for one.
We will ask you if there are any other places where humans live or could live on the property you reside at.
If you have converted your basement and it has a separate door so your renter can go and come without bothering you, we will need to go to that door and take a 'Map Spot' just like we take at your front door. This helps locate where folks live.
Please don't feel you can't or shouldn't ask us any question you may have. We should be mindful that we are coming into your neighborhood doing something that has never happened before like this. We all should provide neighbors with answers to any questions you have.
Our Hand Held Computers do not and will not contain names of persons living anywhere. They are not designed to use information like that and we have no use for that at this time.
The Hand Held Computers used to gather location and address information are going to be used ONLY to identify location of living quarters and nothing after that.
The U.S. Federal Census that will be conducted to take the actual count of the population requires paper responses and a paper trail must be created with those processes.
So, in further pondering about being part of the count of the population, you may want to ponder about what it might mean for OUR community.
The most accurate count of who lives where will mean where tax dollars can be spent and who may end up representing us in the House of Representatives.
It could mean OUR community receives more consideration about all of our issues because there are more of us here than previously considered.
It might mean OUR community may have growth statistics recalibrated to find out how many more housing projects we need or can have.
We may actually learn how many senior citizens live in OUR community compared to other age groups.
We will eventually learn some more economic statistics after the 2010 Census is published to determine whether our income levels compare to other areas.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts studies throughout the ten-year period between the official U.S. Federal Census. But the 2010 Census is the big one I hope we all participate to the fullest in.