Ditas Katague, Director of Census, 2010, Office of the Governor, Planning and Research, Sacramento, California
The following press release was published yesterday by the Press Democrat and written by Mary Callahan.
Santa Rosa census office gears up for 2010 count. Apply now for temporary jobs in spring
Published: Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 3:55 p.m.
The 2010 count of American residents is still five months away, but census workers have been at work throughout the year laying the groundwork to get as accurate an audit as possible.
Thousands of temporary workers are needed in the spring to collect data and perform other functions in connection with the census count.
Job information is available at www.2010censusjobs.gov or by calling 1-866-8610-2010.
Job applications are already being received for the thousands of temporary jobs available to make the count and officials said there is too much at stake to get it wrong.
About $400 billion a year in federal funds distributed to states and individual communities is apportioned according to census results, with each person not counted representing an estimated loss of about $3,000 to his or her community, one study suggests.
An undercount in the 2000 census is estimated to have cost California $1.5 billion from 2002 to 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers report said.
Planning, commercial development and provision of public services, as well as non-profit grants, also depend on the data. And congressional apportionment is also based on population.
“It really comes down to, again, power and money,” said Ditas Katague, the Census 2010 director for the Governor's Office of Planning and Research.
Katague delivered her remarks Thursday during a pep talk at the Santa Rosa census office marking its official opening and the approaching run-up to 2010 and the April 1 census deadline.
But the office, located in a business park on Corporate Center Parkway in southwest Santa Rosa, has actually been operational for more than a year, preparing to manage the completion of the census in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties, office manager Bryce Velasco said.
A key operation was completed last spring, involving a 2 1/2-month canvass of all residential addresses in 22 Northern California counties, all the way to the Oregon and Nevada borders, Velasco said.
“Someone actually physically went out to every address on every street and marked every house,” he said.
The next big push involves community outreach, particularly to at-risk communities to help build confidence in the census process among those at risk for being under counted.
The homeless and immigrants who may fear deportation sometimes distrust government questionnaires, even though census takers take oaths to keep census data confidential.
The Census Bureau, Katague said, has learned that most people have “trusted messengers” in their own communities whose word they're more likely to believe then, say, a bureaucrat's.
These are people in community groups, churches or who are service providers, Katague said.
“We will search them out and target our recruiting to those people if at all possible, as much as we can, to pull them from the community,” Velasco said.
Thousands of temporary workers are needed in the spring to collect data and perform other functions. Job information is available at www.2010censusjobs.gov or by calling 1-866-8610-2010.
The 10-question census form - one of the shortest in history - will be mailed out to all households in mid-March with instructions that residents fill it out and return it by April 1.
Census workers will visit households whose forms weren't returned. In 2000 the response rate was 71 percent in Sonoma county.
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