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.

Atlantic City census office on chaos over Crew Leader’s decision to follow the rules…

Here’s an interesting story from the Press of Atlantic City that raises many issues that have previously been discussed on

U.S. Census Bureau officials said Friday that confusion over how to count shore residents has made it pull at least 20 canvassers out of Brigantine after a local crew leader resigned in protest.

Debra Dunham, who recently moved to the city from Minnesota, submitted her resignation Thursday and said she was ordered to expedite the counting of residents there even if it meant not following procedures to get accurate numbers.

“The motto from the local census office is ‘Git-r-done,’” she said Friday.

Census officials said their attempts to blanket the area more thoroughly with enumerators was misunderstood as trying to take shortcuts, and so reduced a group of 50 counters to 30 to erase the misconception.

Dunham sent her resignation letter to the city’s offices and the media, and after her concerns were forwarded from the local office in Northfield to the regional office in Philadelphia, officials said they were changing their handling of the area’s count.

Regional Director Fernando Armstrong said his office was investigating Dunham’s allegations, saying all workers are expected to attempt contacting a house up to six times in order to get a complete number of residents.

He said his office spoke with representatives from the local office and instructed them that they should be proceeding with the count according to the normal procedures.

The practice of bringing in more workers, called “blitzing,” was being used because the shore region is notorious for having too few volunteers. But it is also an expensive process, since the bureau pays several workers an average of $18 an hour to canvass a small area.

“What the local office was trying to do was get as much of the shore area done by bringing people from other parts of their territory to get it done before the weekend when you have a lot of people coming to shore homes,” Armstrong said. “It was never the attention to not continue to do door-to-door enumeration.”

Armstrong said there were also concerns among workers that this was taking work away from them, which he said was not the intention.

Armstrong said the bureau needed workers so badly that they had rehired Dunham by the end of the day Friday.

The 30 counters remaining will continue knocking on doors through the weekend and into the middle of July, Armstrong said, both in Brigantine and throughout the region.

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9 Responses to “Atlantic City census office on chaos over Crew Leader’s decision to follow the rules…”

  1. anonymous Says:

    Those “shortcuts” equal an inaccurate Census count. Taxpayer money wasted and I pay taxes, too.

  2. Hatta Rayga Says:

    The Crew Leader made a huge big deal because she misinterpretted what she was told to do.

    Sending out many enumeraotrs to complete an area as much as possible is a wise move and standard procedure.

    She is lucky to have her job back.

  3. GS-X Says:

    Having Enumerators visit seasonal residences when someone is there to say they really reside elsewhere seems to make more sense than relying on a proxy to say the housing unit is a vacant vacation home.

  4. end the census Says:

    What? Wait, I’m confused, what exactly happened? “Atlantic City census office on chaos over Crew Leader’s decision to follow the rules” — what rules specifically?
    Just trying to understand what it all means.

  5. Pablo S. Says:

    “end the Census”…this is just another sensational claim without fact. Reminds me of the ignorant statement about it being “against the law” to do more than 3 personal visits! LOL!

  6. pranita veeria Says:

    This is nothing new in the NYC area….they are already pressuring the LCO’s to finish “at all costs”..AMFO’s fudging numbers and procedures to “get-it-done”….all under the direction of the ARCM in the NYC RCC….way to go !!! LOL

  7. Crew Leader Says:

    Same Git-r-done attitude here. We were told that, come hell or high water, we WILL be done by June 12. Sooo…I guess, by June 10, I’ll be fudging like crazy?

  8. mandy_Reeves Says:

    You cannot go more than 3 times, then it is harassment….but anyway, crew leader just quit to gain some fame for herself and because she probably didn’t want to work memorial day.

  9. Former AMFO Says:

    I didn’t realize that people really had second home shore properties in Atlantic City….How many people do you know that say “I’m going to my shore house in Atlantic city for the weekend “…Probably not many…Whats the big rush to get done anyway ? To save taxpayer money ?