My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Live Blogging A Media Update From Census Director Robert M. Groves

9:51: I hope to have the full transcript of this press conference available soon.

9:50: I was able to fire off a question about the workers at Census Bureau processing facilities (Baltimore, Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Phoenix) and the type of screenings they undergo…stay tuned for more information on this subject in the near future. (Unfortunately my connection wasn’t so hot and Dr. Groves mentioned that he heard only every third word…)

9:40: OK – finally back on…Groves is discussing rural America and how to deal with the Census. I am in the que for questions – I will ask the following: What is your response to the IG’s report that ripped many parts of Census Bureau operations?

9:34: My line went dead. I’m back on now. Stephen Buckner is clarifying some questions now…come back…stupid conference call people arent listening to me and im stuck on hold. WHAT A SHITTY CONFERENCE CALL SERVICE! on hold for 3+ minutes for the 2nd time…great!

9:26: Some chick from FoxNews who sounds like an idiot is asking a question, “What will you tell the American people about your efforts to remain non-partisan?” – but she asks this in a DUMB DUMB DUMB way.

Groves doesn’t understand the question bc its a DUMB question. He maintains that this is apolitical. Groves notes that if he violates confidentiality he can go to prison for 5 years and pay 250k in a fine…i bet FoxNews runs away with that line.

9:23: Groves takes questions now. – Call cut out when question was asked… Running Census out of Washington DC alone doesn’t work. ACORN is just one of these groups. One of what will be 100,000. When one of our partners creates problems, we need to rethink this relationship. ACORN as a partner is impeding getting other partner agreements.

9:21: 4 changes for 2020 Census. 1. Use a master file 2. Internet reinterview study to test web vs. paper. 3. Match census records to administrative data bases acquired with other agencies. 4. large sample survey to measure quality of the census, he wants to improve this design to evaluate the process.

9:20: Groves wants to remain non-partisan. He wants to remain apolitical despite a ton of battles he must fight daily from people who want to get him involved in politics. There will be NOTHING on th einternet…if there is, its a scam.

9:15: A new team at the Bureau…Ken Prewitt and others brought in as consultants…key retirements could be problematic…for every 1% more people who return their Census form, you can save the federal government a ton of money.

9:09: Dr. Groves completed his personal transparency evaluation and he had a hearing yesterday on Capitol Hill to address this. He is happy with the 2010 Census design over the 2000 Census. He likes the short 10 question form. We learned in prior decades that long forms=bad as people are too busy. Sending bilingual questionnaires to targeted people…we will send replacement questionnaires when needed…improve massive address file…$1 billion in stimulus money given to the 2010 Census…this $$ used to improve access to small communities…

9:05: Dr. Groves is on the microphone…we are 6 months out, April 1, 2010 is looming ahead of us. He explains address canvassing process…Opening 500 local census offices throughout the country…last stages of our work are supervised, trained…everything is on schedule…we are printing questionnaires…printing 183,000,000 questionaires plus 15,000,000 bilingual questionnaires….using much of printing capacity of the usa, three large processing centers open: jeffersonville indiana, baltimore, and phoenix for scanning and scanning electronic data. this is going pretty well….we are in the middle of opening up call centers for assistance when people need it…first stages in the communications campaign…things are looking good…

9:04: Stephen Buckner, communications/PR  spokesman, is on the line…He announces that this is the first of many press conferences.

9:00:  Still waiting to get this show on a road…I’m sitting at a cafe in Copenhagen right now so it could be worse. However, I do wish I was at the National Press Club.

8:57:  I have been logged into the conference call and I am listening to classical music waiting for Dr. Groves to begin his briefing.


What:    U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Robert M. Groves will brief the media on the status of 2010 Census operations. Since taking the
helm of the Census Bureau in July, Groves has studied and
evaluated the key components of the national once-a-decade count.
He will provide an assessment of the internal and external
challenges facing the 2010 Census and the Census Bureau’s
readiness to meet them. He will take questions from media in

When:    Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (EDT)

Who:     Dr. Robert M. Groves, director, U.S. Census Bureau

Where:   National Press Club, 13th floor
Fourth Estate Restaurant
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045

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