Be counted! Have you turned in your Census yet?

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fill out 2010 census formsWant to give your community $1,500? It’s easy and it won’t cost you a dime. All you need to do is fill out your Census form.

“For each person the Census misses, our community will lose up to $1,500,” Congresswoman Laura Richardson said. “It determines how more than $400 billion will be spent each year for the next decade and it will be used to decide where new schools are built and which roads will be built and improved. It also provides a snapshot of what our neighborhoods look like and where services for groups like veterans and senior citizens should be located. Everyone has a stake in the success of Census 2010. It is time for you and your family to stand up and be counted.”

With just more than a week to go until Census Day on April 1, Richardson is urging everyone living in the 37th Congressional District to make sure they and their families are counted in the 2010 Census.

120 million households have already received their 2010 Census forms in the mail. As of last week, 16 percent of households have filled out and mailed back their census forms. This year, the Census Bureau is offering new tools to track the Census response rates online — neighborhood by neighborhood. Residents can even log on and watch the daily progress as more American respond.

Google Maps Tracking Census Response Online

Groves also announced a new mapping tool, developed in collaboration with Google, to track and map response rates. The new maps on the 2010 Census Web site allow anyone to track how well their area is responding to the once-a-decade count on a day-by-day basis. This same daily data is also available as a layer for Google Earth, both as a downloadable file to open in the application, as well as an easy-to-embed local rate tracker (widget) that can be embedded in any web site. More details are available at

The new tools, part of the Census Bureau’s “Take 10” program, are an effort to make data more visually accessible and searchable.

The emphasis on encouraging mail participation in the census is a practical one. For every percentage point increase in mail response, taxpayers will save an estimated $85 million in federal funds. Those funds would otherwise be required to send census takers to collect census responses in person from households that don’t mail back the form. After the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau was able to return $305 million in savings to the federal Treasury because mail rates exceeded expectations — a move the Census Bureau would like to repeat in 2010.

“These first weeks are critical to the final census count,” U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “It’s absolutely vital that everyone takes the 10 minutes to fill out and mail back their forms. If every household mailed back its 2010 Census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion.”

U.S. Census: Simple, Quick and to the Point

The U.S. Census, which is a count of every person currently living in the United States, regardless of citizenship, is required by the Constitution and has been taken every 10 years since 1790.

“By taking a couple minutes once every 10 years to fill out and send back the Census form, which is just 10 questions, you are making sure that our community has what it needs to educate our children, protect our homes, build and maintain our roads and to make our neighborhoods wonderful places to live,” said Congresswoman Richardson. “In 2000, the Census missed 3 million people. Most of the people not counted were Hispanic or African American, which resulted in communities like ours missing out on millions of dollars. It is important that we participate and encourage our families, neighbors and friends to participate so we do not miss out on any of these important funds.”

The information taken in the Census is confidential and is not shared with any other government agencies. Regardless of personal legal issues, tax issues, credit problems, family matters or any other confidential situation that might cause concern, there is nothing to lose by filling out and mailing back a Census form.

If you haven’t done so, please fill out your census form and return it by April 1.

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