by Rene Villaroman/Asianjournal.com
NORTHRIDGE – The City of Los Angeles joined in inaugurating the Los Angeles Regional Census Center in Northridge last Friday, April 4.
Each decade, the national census unites every resident of every neighborhood, in every community as we participate in this important undertaking,” said Dr. Cynthia Glassman, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs of the US Department of Commerce.
On April 2010, the Department of Commerce, through all its Census bureaus in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island areas, will count more than 300 million people, a total of 130 million households encompassing four different time zones and speaking a dramatically rising number of languages.
In contrast to past census, the 2010 count would be taken using a short form with just a handful of questions. This is being adopted to minimize undercounting some residents that have happened in past counts. The residents, mostly minorities, have suffered government funding consequences as a result of the undercounting.
Census data are the basis of the reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and for the states’ redistricting plans, as well as the distribution of state dollars – some $300 million a year – to every locality.
“Nearly 70,000 household will likely return the forms in the mail, leaving millions of addresses for us to visit personally and conduct interviews with residents,” Glassman predicted, based on test conducted recently.
To reduce the undercounting figures, the Department of Commerce will be hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary employees across the US. These are called enumerators, and they will fan out across the country, visiting every neighborhood and interviewing residents – face to face – in order to get almost everyone counted.
“We can’t do this alone. We and the people here today are keys to helping us get the best workforce and the broadest possible participation in being counted,” Glassman reiterated. “Your outreach efforts are particularly vital here in California, given the state’s increasing diverse and rapidly growing population. To ensure the success of our democracy, we must have an accurate head count.”
James T. Christy, Regional Director of the Los Angeles Regional Office said that the regional bureau would count people in the City of Los Angeles (the second largest city in the US), the most populated county in the US (Los Angeles County).
“The regional census bureau will also count a diverse population: one of four of the nation’s Hispanics, one out of four of the nation’s Asians and almost half of the nation’s Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. In fact, one of six of the nation’s persons of color will be counted in the region in the 2010 census,” Christy stated.
“We think the best way to be successful in getting the best count is through our recruitment effort to recruit locally, and to hire the natives of the area that we are trying to count, for every ethnic group, every type of diversity that we are trying to capture in our region,” said Celeste Jimenez, Assistant Regional Census Manager. “Having local residents is the best way to go.”
“By the time we are finished in this region, we expect to count 30 million people. Most will send back their 7-question form, but about 8 million will not. To count everyone, we will hire more than 40,000 workers and send them to every neighborhood in this region,” said Marilia Matos, Associate Director of Field Operations of the US Census Bureau.