A Conversation with Senator Brubaker
2010 Census Will Ensure Local Communities Receive Funding
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a census to determine the number of people living in every community across the nation. The data collected during the census helps to determine how much money each community receives from the federal government for hospitals, schools, bridges, emergency services and other vital priorities for our state and region, so it is very important for every district residents to complete and return the census form.
Each household will receive a census form in the mail in March. The form will include just 10 questions this year, including the number of people in the household, the name, sex, race and date of birth of all individuals who reside at the address, and the telephone number for the address. The long form from the 2000 Census has been eliminated, so this year’s form should take most individuals less than 15 minutes to complete.
Because of the importance of the census to our local communities, I would encourage all district residents to fill out this form and mail it back promptly to help ensure an accurate count for our state and region. Each year the federal government allocates more than $400 billion to communities across the nation for education, senior centers, emergency services and other important programs and services, as well as infrastructure improvements such as roads, bridges and water and sewer systems. This means that the 2010 Census will help determine where more than $4 trillion will be spent by the federal government over the next 10 years. An accurate count in our area will ensure that we receive our fair share of federal funding to maintain and improve the quality of life in Lancaster and Chester County communities.
An accurate count also will ensure that all citizens have equal and adequate representation in government. An undercount could lead to Pennsylvania receiving fewer seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and fewer electoral votes during Presidential elections. Census data will also be used during the redistricting process in the U.S. House of Representatives, state Senate and state House of Representatives to ensure that no community is underrepresented in the General Assembly or in Congress.
Completing and returning this form not only helps to ensure that our communities receive the appropriate share of federal money, but also helps to save taxpayer dollars. If a household does not complete and return the census form, a Census Bureau worker will be assigned to visit that residence to gather the information. For every one percent of households that do not mail in a census form, the federal government will spend approximately $80-90 million of our tax dollars through worker salaries, training, equipment and reimbursements to retrieve this information. Submitting a form is the best way to reduce the final cost of the 2010 Census for all taxpayers.
A large number of workers will be required to complete the census, so the process will also create job opportunities for those seeking part-time employment. Individuals can call 1-866-861-2000 or contact their local census office to apply for a job working on the 2010 Census. More information on 2010 Census jobs is also available online at http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/.