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The 2010 Census does matterPosted Friday, January 15, 2010, at 6:42 PM
The U.S. 2010 Census forms will soon be arriving in our mailboxes -- starting in just a little over 60 days.
It is the time to stand up and be counted for the good of our nation, our states and our very own local communities.
The data gleaned from this national count is really important to everyone.
The census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
Census data is used to distribute congressional seats to states as well as more than $400 billion in federal funds to local and state governments each year. The data also helps communities make decisions about the services they will or are able to provide in the coming decade.
Just ask our local mayors Linton's Tom Jones or Jasonville's Roy Terrell or the members of town councils in our other Greene County communities or the Greene County Commissioners or County Council members about the census.
They'll tell you that data derived from these census counts every 10 years are the basis for the awarding of plenty of federal grant bucks -- which each of our communities desperately need to survive due to the competitive nature of the grant award process..
This year's 2010 Census form will be one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of just 10 questions, on topics such as:
*Date of birth
*The number of people who live in your household
*If you own or rent or live in an apartment
The census 2010 form is simple to fill out and can be completed in less than 15 minutes. Every household will receive the form in mid-March 2010 and should mail it back by April 1.
A return envelope will be included with the form. Should you need assistance, a census 2010 form help location will be advertised in late February or early March.
The census DOES NOT ask about the legal status of respondents or their Social Security numbers or ask for any income numbers.
Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.
It is illegal for the Census Bureau or its employees to share your information with any other government agency, law enforcement, IRS, welfare, FBI, immigration services or any court of law,
Many people frown whenever the word census is mentioned -- alleging this is some kind of 'big brother' scheme and suggests that someone in government is watching each of us way too much.
The census is an extremely important part of life in America that is renewed every 10 years.
The census is not something that came about in recent times.
It all began in 1790 after our founding fathers deemed it important enough to write it into the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates a head-count of everyone living in the United States -- all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the island areas -- be held every 10 years. That includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.
But what does all this census data really mean?
Why is it so important?
Why does it matter?
Population totals from the 2010 census will determine the number of seats states have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Then our Indiana state legislators will use census 2010 data to redraw their legislative districts. It is extremely important for all to be counted so we don't lose any representation in halls of Congress.
Totals also affect funding to our local communities for things like schools, road repair and construction, hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, adult education programs, public safety, economic development, programs for the elderly, Head Start programs for youngsters and much more.
The census data means much-needed dollars for our communities that translates to about $400 for every person counted, according to a figure supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.
For more information, please visit www.2010census.gov.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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