Monday, August 31, 2009

Census Director visits New Orleans, announces plans to hand-deliver 2010 Census forms in Katrina regions

(Image- Bloomberg) NEW ORLEANS — Census forms will be hand-delivered in the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas affected by the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita to get the most accurate count possible following concerns that the region could lose federal representation and funding.

The measures announced by U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves on Tuesday did not go as far as those sought by Mayor Ray Nagin and some advocacy groups to locally count potentially thousands of former residents scattered across the country who are trying to come back.

By at least one estimate, 75 percent of New Orleans' pre-Katrina population has returned in the nearly four years since the Aug. 29, 2005, storm and levee breaches. In some neighborhoods, there remain huge swaths of empty homes. Read more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Counting Undocumented Immigrants

A report by Afton Branche of The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy entitled The Next Economic Imperative: Undocumented Immigrants in the 2010 Census explains why undocumented immigrants must be included in the upcoming census. Among the key findings, Branche reports that:
  • A complete count of undocumented immigrants ensures proper allocation of federal funds for state and local programs that benefit all residents, including education, infrastructure, transportation, and health care.
  • An accurate count of undocumented immigrants ensures that non-profit organizations have accurate demographic data when determining outreach services, like English language and vocational programs. Better outreach means immigrants will be able to acquire the skill sets needed to contribute to their communities
  • Businesses also use census data to determine where and when to invest. An accurate count of undocumented immigrants enables businesses to invest in new markets, and create jobs in growing communities.
To read the full report, click here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Japan's Internet-free election

TIME - Campaigning officially kicked off Tuesday in Japan as candidates for the Diet's upcoming elections took to the streets to canvas for votes. And while the Aug. 30 general election could be revolutionary — with Japan on the cusp of a regime change that could end nearly 54 years of virtually unbroken rule — candidates' official campaigning methods are far from it. With 12 days to go until national elections, candidates rode in vans, armed with banners, leaflets and loudspeakers for soapbox speeches at train stations and street corners across the nation. But as their names were blared out on the first day of political open season, their campaigns on Twitter and Facebook were silent. One thing that Japanese politicians aren't armed with is the Internet. Read more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New publication compiles first-time voter stories

(Photo- Brennan Center for Justice)
My First Vote, a new publication from the Brennan Center for Justice, is a compilation of stories from people across the country who voted for the first time in November 2008 after having lost, and then regained, their right to vote following a criminal conviction.

Here's an excerpt:
I’ve been battling substance abuse for thirty years and have been in and out of prison all of my life. But I’ve been out, and clean, for more than four years. My life has completely changed. And on November 4th, with millions of Americans, I had a say about what happens in our country. There were tears in my eyes as I waited to vote. I felt like I was finally a productive member of society. I’ve never before felt like I could make a difference in terms of what happens around me. But I walked out of the polling place on Election Day feeling like I mattered, that I made a difference. I realized how far I’ve come. Amazing. -Linda Steele, New York, NY

Monday, August 17, 2009

Census Bureau begins printing 2010 questionnaires

(Photo- Census Bureau Public Information Office)
Starting now, the Census Bureau will need to print more than 1.5 million documents every day to get ready to send out over 120 million questionnaires in mid-March to households across America.

The printing kickoff highlights some new changes made in the Census form production process this time around.

  • For the first time, more than 13 million questionnaires will be bilingual in English and Spanish, in an effort to improve mail-back rates by targeting areas with a high density of Spanish speakers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Newest Census Bureau E-Newsletter for its 2010 Census Partners

Includes a profile of the newly confirmed Census Director, Robert Groves; an overview of the 2010 Census outreach activities currently going on across the country (including info on the upcoming 2010 Census Mobile Tour!); tips for creating an effective public service announcement and much more.

Really nice update from the Census Bureau - it's good to be a partner of the 2010 Census !

Click here to read the whole newsletter!

Learn more about how your organization can partner with the 2010 Census.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

George Washington comments on the first-ever Census

Did you know that the 2010 Census will only be the 5th time in American history that the U.S. Census is conducted primarily by mail-in forms, instead of by officials going door to door?

It wasn't until 1970 that the Census Bureau began asking households to fill out a form at home and send it in; before then, temporary census workers (and before them, federal marshals) collected the data in person.

Read what George Washington said after he was presented with the returns from the first-ever U.S. Census, conducted by federal marshals on horseback in 1790.

Returns of the Census have already been made from several of the States and a tolerably just estimate has been formed now in others, by which it appears that we shall hardly reach four millions; but one thing is certain: our real numbers will exceed, greatly, the official returns of them; because the religious scruples of some would not allow them to give in their lists; the fear of others that it was intended as the foundation of a tax induced them to conceal or diminish theirs; and thro' the indolence of the people and the negligence of many of the Officers, numbers are omitted.
-The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., vol. 31 Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1939: 329.

True then, true today.

Source: "American People: Politics and Science in Census Taking," by Kenneth Prewitt, Population Reference Bureau.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aug 4th Nonprofits Count! webinar available for download

Our webinar "Nonprofits and the Census: Mobilizing our Communities for Complete Count," which took place on Tuesday, August 4th, is now available for download.The webinar, which followed on the heels of our June 4th webinar on the role of nonprofits in the 2010 Census, features special guest Terri Ann Lowenthal, Member, President Obama’s Transition Team for the Census, Former Director, House Census Oversight Subcommittee and currently a legislative and policy consultant.

Download the August 4th PowerPoint

Friday, August 7, 2009

Myths and Facts on Immigrants and the Census

Image - The Providence Journal

Recent headlines and controversy over the expansion and revision of certain DHS programs has the potential to increase distrust- by both immigrants and the groups that serve them- around agencies of the federal government. With the 2010 Census right around the corner, the timing for this distrust could not be worse.

The below list (excerpted from the FCCP) gives an excellent outline of why immigrants (legal and non-legal) and the groups who serve them, can rest assured that:

1. When a non-citizen- legal resident or not- fills out and return his or her 2010 Census form, they need not fear their data being used against them by immigration authorities-


2. It is actually
in their best interest to fill out that form.

Myth: Undocumented immigrants should not be counted by the census.

Fact: Everyone counts in the census, regardless of immigration status.

  • The census is designed to count everyone living in the United States, regardless of legal status
  • Census statistics are used to figure out what kind of services each community needs, including schools, hospitals and health clinics, and jobs.
  • Census information is used to figure out which communities have enough people who speak languages other than English so as to require services in other languages.

Myth: Immigrants can avoid the census by not completing their census form.

Fact: If you don't want a visit from the government, complete your form promptly.

  • People who return a completed census form will not be contact by the Census Bureau
  • People who don't return a form by April 1 could have census workers come to their home up to six times to try to get a form completed

Myth: Immigrants don't benefit from the census.

Fact: Everyone, including immigrants, benefits from investments in education, health care, and jobs that are distributed based on census information.

And census data are also used in ways that are of special importance to immigrants, including:

  • funding for nonprofit organizations to provide job assistance aimed at making foreign-born people economically self-sufficient;
  • helping states and local agencies develop health care and other services tailored to the language and cultural diversity of immigrants, including health care and other services tailored to the language and cultural diversity of elderly people under the Older Americans Act.
  • allocating funds to school districts for children with limited English language proficiency;

Myth: Answering the census could get me in trouble with immigration or my landlord.

Fact: There's no need to fear the census. Individual information is safe and your privacy is strongly protected.

  • The census form does not ask about immigration status.
  • Census responses are confidential and protected by the strongest privacy laws we have.
  • No other law or agency can override protections for the confidentiality of people's responses to census questions – not the Patriot Act, the IRS, Homeland Security, or ICE.
  • No private company, landlord or employer can get any household's census information, even with a court order.

Myth: Immigrants can gain influence by threatening to boycott the census.

Fact: Boycotting the census can only hurt immigrant communities and limit their influence.

Numbers matter. In the past, immigrants have been more likely to be missed in the census. Getting everyone counted will demonstrate the strength of our communities and will give us a bigger voice in government, business, and decisions that affect our lives and families.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More on same sex marriage and the 2010 Census

(From the Washington Post)
New decision from the Counsel to the Department of Commerce on collecting and reporting same-sex marriage data in the 2010 Census, as well as guidelines how the statistics and coding will be handled when same-sex couples identify as "married" on the 2010 Census form.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Census 2010 to start in northern Alaska

Census employees will begin next year's constitutionally-mandated headcount in remote regions of Alaska north of the Arctic Circle, reports the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington Post.

The Inupiat town of Noorvik, Alaska (pop. ~650) has been reported to have been preliminarily selected as the first town in America to be counted in next years Census.

According to the Daily News, the bureau plans to begin sending out Census takers earlier in remote Alaska to "avoid the spring break-up and catch villagers before they leave to hunt or fish in warmer weather."
The Census Bureau plans to hire about 2,500 census takers to go door-to-door in cities and towns across the state. That means using float planes, snowmachines and dog sleds to reach households across 586,000 square miles, according to the bureau.
Anchorage Daily News