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.

MyTwoCensus Editorial: Brooklyn scandal is just the tip of the iceberg

What happened last month at the Brooklyn LCO was indeed unfortunate. But let us not be naive: Data collection inaccuracies and falsifications are happening throughout the entire New York Regional Area and possibly the entire nation, though perhaps on a smaller scale than in Brooklyn.

There are many luxury rental and condominum buildings where real estate management companies have a strict “no enumerator” policy, as well as tenement buildings  and brownstones where it is impossible to gain access. There are also one or two family houses where it is unclear how many people live there and a knowledgeable proxy could not be located.

For these units, some enumerators went to public search records on the Internet or merely wrote the names off the mailboxes. The mid and upper level census managers encouraged field staff to use techniques to “guesstimate,” creating major operational ambiguity for the once in a decade headcount.

What was acceptable inside the questionnaire was another problem. Most enumerators tried to get all the information but those who went to a proxy who gave them little, no, or inaccurate information, finished their areas quickly. These same field staff were rewarded with more work and allowed to clean up districts that were lagging behind.

These cases are the same ones where quality assurance suspects poor data collection practices or data falsification. However, in some cases re-interview staff are unable to locate the respondent to verify whether the interview was actually conducted and prove it definitively. Many other quality assurance managers are told to “just pass it” or are afraid to accuse enumerators of poor quality work, fearing that they will be stepping on people’s toes.

For two years municipalities and city officials preached about the beauty of the census through media and print advertising. They encouraged people to send back their census forms saying it was the only way to ensure that their residents were counted and for their community to receive the federal funding it was entitled to.

But these city officials did little in the way in forcing real estate management companies and reluctant respondents to cooperate when their participation was required. The fact that the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce made empty threats to fine people for not cooperating and then did not follow through on it shows how poorly 2010 Census data has been managed.

The offices in the five boroughs of New York will be the last in the nation to finish NRFU, whereas most areas were done weeks ago. The few career census employees who valued a fair and accurate count and finished last can not be proud of their work. Those responsible for promoting the individuals won’t let them be proud. When it comes time for their annual performance reviews, the fact they finished last will be reflected poorly and jeopardize their careers.

What happened in Brooklyn should not come as a surprise. In retrospect the Census did what it usually does. It set hard line production goals, held managers and field staff accountable and fired them if they failed to meet these goals with little constructive technical support. Those who work quickly are rewarded with more work with little regard to accuracy.

I dedicate this post to the many crew leaders, field operations supervisors and LCO manager who lost their jobs because they valued a fair and accurate count.

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47 Responses to “MyTwoCensus Editorial: Brooklyn scandal is just the tip of the iceberg”

  1. Naive Census Says:

    Thank you SRM!!! We are numerous and far from being satisfied with the way we were treated while trying to do our job as trained. Threats from managers may have swayed the ethics of some, but I hope that those who stood fast will see the reward given by the Justice Department to the falsifiers.

  2. VDC enumerator Says:

    Our LCO confiscated all binders this afternoon and fired all CL and CLA. We were told to standby and we would be assigned new CL, CLA, and new binders this later on today. ???!!!

  3. Carol Bradley Says:

    Thank you for a tip of your hat to those of us who did accurate work and were then thrown out on the side of the road, or made into road kill, for found dead alongside the road. I was a crew leader with a truly outstanding crew of 8 quality control enumerators in a rural area with little or no cell phone reception and sometimes faint trails to follow to isolated farms, ranches, and seasonal homes/cabins. Despite rattlesnakes, we completed our caseload, and then were summarily discarded. This is my third and final Census which I will work (1990, 2000 and 2010). My crew, only one of which is older than 30, will never work for the Census again because of their shabby treatment by our LCO. My household will not participate in future censuses in any way, shape or form. This Census is a total joke, and we never completed the mandated 5% reinterview. Like so many others who have posted, we were repeatedly sent to vacant houses/cabins, revisiting the same proxies ad infinitum (two always had a glass of iced tea ready for us — many thanks to them!), and then the LCO “misplaced” some of our binders and REIQs. The office personnel were totally inept, none of us were ever paid the full weekly hours/mileage in the appropriate timeframe, and only our RCC assisted us in resolving these payroll issues. At least the folks we visited got used to seeing us again, and their word-of-mouth assisted us greatly in completing reinterviews, etc. Dr. Groves and his ilk ought to be dunned for their unearned paychecks, as well as dismissed. Thank you for this forum — I have to eventually come down from this horrible experience.

  4. Enumeratrix Says:

    One of the greatest frustrations in our work in an urban CLD was the intransigence of condo and apartment building management. Not being allowed access to a building was just the beginning. Even more frustrating was the unwillingness or inability of the LCO to aid us in getting into those buildings. Where were the officials who had the authority to exert some kind of influence? In one case, our FOS wrote a letter to a building’s management seeking to come up with a suitable approach for the work we needed to do, only to be reprimanded for this by the honchos downtown. I can only think that such data as we finally collected on these buildings was, at best, flawed. We all tore our hair out over this problem and got no support from our superiors–I sure hope the Census comes up with a better way to handle this in 2020.

  5. VDC4You Says:

    “at the Brooklyn LCO” People raised a flag about the problem. The managers were fired. The limited number of cases this impacted have been redone. Please share with your audience the actual number of cases impacted by the Brooklyn incident.

    “inaccuracies and falsifications are happening throughout the entire New York Regional Area”

    This might be an honest mistake: you linked to your own page which linked to stories about the Brooklyn incident as evidence that something was happening in the entire region. If this was a mistake, please correct prior to people believing that there is a problem in the larger region. If not a mistake, what other evidence do you have that there is a larger problem in the region? I have not seen any on this blog or in other news publications.

    “possibly the entire nation” The probability is very low that there is a problem in the entire nation.

    “These cases are the same ones where quality assurance suspects poor data collection practices or data falsification.”

    The entire census process is built around double checking everyone’s work. There is a process in place to catch and correct the problems highlighted by the Bureau themselves. Suspect cases are in fact being reinterviewed as described by publicly available sources. I encourage you to educate yourself about this process.

  6. smoke and mirrors Says:

    Smoke and mirrors – that’s the 2010 Census!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I never understood why everyone who feels the census bureau is not doing enough to make apartment managers cooperate with us. What do you expect us to do?? Yes, we can make false threats, and should we ever act upon those threats with fines and prosecution, could you imagine the fire that would reign down on us…not to mention the added costs that this website seems to always say we are already spending too much. While, I do agree that if we were to force the fines and such, people would be more likely to participate, but at what cost?? It is ultimately up to the individual to do what is right and return the form…not rely on an apartment manager to be the buffer to keep from doing what is required by law. We are a data collection agency, not a law enforcement agency. People are not stupid and know this, so they know our threats are empty.
    all we can do is to continue to pester these folks until they finally give in, and using the right tactics usually gets them to give in. We have to remember that we live in a highly charged and politicized climate right now and people on both sides of the political spectrum are resistant to the census for many reasons. I always tell me people when
    I train them…people did not return their foms for a reason and they will be glad to tell you that when you show up at their doors. Until we can find a way to get people to participate there will always be the battle to get 100 percent reponse rates!!

  8. California FOS Says:

    VDC4You: “The probability is very low that there is a problem in the entire nation.” You really think so? A couple of data points:

    1. Once our LCO finished NRFU and while we were waiting for the beginning of VDC, I was part of a team of folks from our LCO who were sent to a neighboring county to help another LCO recover from some sort of crisis. I never got the full story but it seemed to involve the mysterious “loss” of some 8,000 EQs. In the two days I spent out of my area, 95% of respondents I encountered told me that they had just spoken with a Census enumerator within the past five days. Yet I was working with blank, fresh-off-the-press EQs with nary a pencil mark on them.

    2. The number of folks we encounter *during VDC* who insist that they have returned the mailback questionnaire AND completed at least one NRFU interview is statistically significant. Why are we bothering these people yet again?

    3. The number of folks we encounter during VDC, who are NOT on our workload, but who insist that they HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTACTED by the Census Bureau — either by mail or in person — is equally significant. And yet during VDC training, we were told we are NOT to “add” any cases. No in-mover adds, no WHUHE adds, no adds of any sort. “These sorts of cases were picked up in prior operations, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with them now.” THIS IS FALSE and folks are not getting counted.

    Anonymous: “I never understood why everyone who feels the census bureau is not doing enough to make apartment managers cooperate with us. What do you expect us to do??” For starters, how about ENFORCING THE LAW? Somewhere along the way, Congress passed and the President signed laws that require every resident of the United States to participate in the decennial census, under penalty of fine. Congress also passed, and the President also signed, laws requiring owners and managers of apartments, hotels, and similar facilities to provide the Census Bureau with the information pertaining to the residents of those facilities, under penalty of fine. IT’S THE LAW. Just like the requirement to have a driver license to operate a motor vehicle is the law, or the prohibition against murder is the law. Further, interfering with or assaulting or threatening a Federal employee is A FEDERAL CRIME! So why do we let the American public get away with just blowing off the law?

    Folks, Congress would not have passed these laws if they had no intention of them ever being enforced. The legislative intent is that everyone participate in the census, that those who don’t are punished, and that those who would attack or threaten a census taker be prosecuted and imprisoned. As far as I’m concerned, whoever decided not to enforce these laws — whether it be Director Groves, the Secretary of Commerce, or whoever — is in contempt of Congress.

    “We have to remember that we live in a highly charged and politicized climate right now and people on both sides of the political spectrum are resistant to the census for many reasons.” Hey, I’m resistant to paying hundreds of dollars a year to register my car with the DMV, but I do it, as do 99% of vehicle owners, BECAUSE IT’S THE LAW and because I know damn well that if I don’t, I’m likely to get pulled over and get myself in all sorts of trouble. If we got the Marshals Service to write a thousand $500 tickets nationwide for these census scofflaws, the word would spread like wildfire and folks would be sending in their questionnaires and completing our interviews in no time flat.

    Someone in a previous post on a different topic made the statement: “We’re the effing Federal government, y’all.” We need as an organization to grow a backbone and do what we swore to do when we raised our right hands that first day of training and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic; to bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which we entered.

  9. VDC4You Says:

    California – Some households will receive a visit even though they may have mailed back their form. If the form arrived too late to be processed before NRFU packets were sent to a LCO, the household occupants must still be interviewed. Some people will get a visit from a census worker just to double check the work of another census worker.

    I’d still like to see numbers from Stephen Morse.

  10. anonymous Says:

    I appreciate Stephen and MyTwoCensus!

  11. pranita veeria Says:

    “Someone in a previous post on a different topic made the statement: “We’re the effing Federal government, y’all.” We need as an organization to grow a backbone and do what we swore to do when we raised our right hands that first day of training and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic; to bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which we entered.”

    @ California FOS… Correct you are…sworn Dept of Commerce employees who were entrusted with a job that was SUPPOSED to be a vital fundiing tol for the nation. I guess it’s only another piece of paper that was deemed unnecessary in the new hire packets..

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I repeat my statement….the census bureau is a data collection agency not a law enforcement agency. Enumerators, CL’s, CLA’s, LCO managers, RCC employees and RCC managers…none of them have the power nor the authority to fine or arrest anyone not in compliance with filling out a form or giving us information. so what do you expect us to do???

  13. inthecensus Says:

    Anonymous Says: “I never understood why everyone who feels the census bureau is not doing enough to make apartment managers cooperate with us.”

    Because it is a widely observed fact. The fact of the matter is the Cenus appears to have had not plan or stratgey. In my important large urban area with tens of thousand sof apratments, about a dozen Real estate management and reals estate investment companies own or manage tenhs of thosuands of units.

    A building manager, concierge, doorman has ZERO interest in cooperating. Think about it: it is all downsides and risk for him/her to facilitate and no upside. For the holding or management company there are upsides once explained (eg more money for ultra local public infrastructure in the area of the complex). A doorman or building manager will listen to their head office. Why should they risk a thing for a lower manager at a Local census office?

    Our office was still trying to plead/strong arm doormen and building managers to the last minute of NRFU. this indicated VERY bad prep and research and NO strategy. For the 11 buildings with 5,000 units of XYZ management, the contact should have been made by the LCO in February or March at the top levels of main XYZ office.

    They were not.

  14. No Sense Census Says:

    Tip of the iceburg? What other areas of the country besides NYC, CAL, DETROIT, and FLA are showingfraud? I agree that the areas mentioned here are across the nation, but I would like to see a complete list of problem areas posted. A list that requires Groves and the Sec. of Com. to answer to Congress about.

  15. anonymous Says:

    Of course VDC is running into a lot of people who have already been contacted by a NRFU enumerator. Isn’t that the point of VDC – to double-check V’s & D’s reported by NRFU enumerators?

  16. anonymous Says:

    “Tip of the iceburg? What other areas of the country besides NYC, CAL, DETROIT, and FLA are showingfraud? I agree that the areas mentioned here are across the nation, but I would like to see a complete list of problem areas posted. A list that requires Groves and the Sec. of Com. to answer to Congress about.”

    That sounds like a job for an investigative journalist – not a blogger…

  17. Former CL Says:

    California FOS: Well spoken, isnt it amazing how people just come out of the woodwork that werent counted, yet often the person you are there “to count” is highly upset on seeing the 6th person from the Census there to “count” them?

  18. Former CL Says:

    “Of course VDC is running into a lot of people who have already been contacted by a NRFU enumerator. Isn’t that the point of VDC – to double-check V’s & D’s reported by NRFU enumerators?”

    If it were to verify a vacant or delete…. Definately. Apparently VDC is really noting more than an extension of NRFU with some cases being thrown in to be ” re- verified ” that arent Vacants or Deletes. Mind you this is all *AFTER* NRFU production and many times RI was already there. As a CL in NRFU I had to phsically inspect any delete cases. So I can definately understand why someone could get rather beligerant about being asked for the 8th time in the last 6 weeks about an empty overgrown lot if there was a house there on April, 1. If you were Joe Public wouldnt you begin to think the Census is wasting taxpayer money?

  19. Census Guy Says:

    Hi Anonymous:

    Unfortunately the number of investigative journalists in this country are a decreasing lot, because newspapers are dying, and the one’s who still exist can be easily stonewalled because the Census Bureau will refuse to comment by insisting information is PPI, in our training we were told not to talk to journalists or let them follow us around because they may pick up such protected information.

    Maybe some congressman’s staff person will actually read this blog and start asking questions, unfortunately most know so little about the census that without this blog and other outlets they will not know which questions to ask.

    Here is one. You go to an apartment complex rental office for a proxy and the manager smiles and tells you they cannot tell you anything because of the Federal Privacy Act. You ask them for the section they are relying upon, and they tell you they don’t know but still refuse to provide information.

    Did any of the inhouse lawyers for the commerce department pulling down over 70K a year even spend one hour trying to figure out how enumerators were to deal with such a response? Did the census bureau ever lobby to have an exemption carved out of the federal privacy act for us lowly workers? Probably not. On my four most difficult cases I was stonewalled by this problem. But hey, Groves has probably not been kicked off a lawn since he’s been a grad student and forgets how much “fun” it can be.

  20. RitzyEnum Says:

    Census Guy is right about investigative journalism – it’s sad when people want answers but then complain/beat up on the writers trying to find the truth and not fluffy PR garbage. And then complain after they get conned.

    This Bklyn scandal isn’t much of a scandal – it’s status quo when you own a multi-million dollar condo in Midtown or the Upper East Side (or in SoCal or Florida). You don’t want to be bothered at all by the government, unless it involves making you more money or getting a tax write-off. So no one wants to “participate”, even if it’s “mandatory” or “the law”. Threatening a $100-500 fine is nothing to them.

    If the laws are re-written NOW to heavily fine the management companies (or progressively increase a heavy fine to a gated community’s refusals), then maybe things can be resolved – and even for the 2010 Census, not just for 2020!

  21. BTK census worker Says:

    If you didn’t fill out your form or your builing management won’t allow legitimate access to housing units then you have NO ONE to blame for any inaccuracies but yourselves. What is a matter with people who are quick to complain about access and then quick to complain that they did not receive federal dollars based on the outcome of the decennial census. Census did and does their job but it is up to the people to take responsibility for their own actions or inactions. Don’t let me hear months from now how the religious jewish communites of NYC didn’t get a fair count when they themselves were the main obsticle to an accurate count

  22. ConnieLuray Says:

    I worked GQE and NRFU, but was not called for VDC. At the end of NRFU, the CL told everyone to keep their supplies because 90% of us would be called for VDC. I didn’t believe it then and I have yet to find anyone on our crew of eleven that was called.

    My question: Is anyone still holding on to the cheap canvas bag and other paper supplies or have you recycled them in some fashion? Was yours picked up later? My stuff sits here (no personal info is within) and I’m ready to pitch it.

    Thanks.

  23. TxEnum Says:

    I KNOW the same problems are happening all over the country. The very same issues that many of you-CarolBradley, California FOS-have discussed are the same things enumerators are dealing with here. The VDC Cls are telling us to falsify EQs and abandon established procedure. Heck, procedure changes every day! Our CL sat there in front of us and erased and changed stuff on EQs we had just turned in!! They’ve lost EQ’s and told the CLs to just do their best from the office to complete new ones on those addresses; they were calling us between NRFU and VDC to see how much we remembered on stuff we completed three weeks prior. Current enums are threatened every day with being fired for piddly stuff, or for NOT being dishonest. This Census will be a colossal sham, and I can’t help but wonder if it was orchestrated to be just that. I cannot imagine that all of this incompetence and outright mishandling of confidential information nationwide is coincidental.

  24. anonymous Says:

    The iceberg is getting bigger and it is of “Titanic” proportion.

  25. Edward Smith Says:

    I know icebergs and this is no iceberg. Trust me.

  26. Dairyland CL Says:

    As far as the question of turning in supplies and stuff is concerned, we always turned them in before since they planned to reuse them this year. I keep getting unused bags. Maybe they just don’t want to store or dispose of them anymore. Any ideas on what the heck to do with those ugly things?

  27. No Sense Census Says:

    Anonymous 11:04: If you or anyone that put a complete list up they would be stone walled or someone from the census would go after them. I am not a Journalist or a blogger. I was a FOS and am a CL IN THE FIELD and saw it happening. Are you saying that you would not tell if you saw fraud? You sound like you’re part of the LCO gang of instigators.

  28. anonymous Says:

    Ugly bags!!! Why, I love those bags and wish I could keep mine for memory sake! :)

  29. inthecensus Says:

    Ritzy said”If the laws are re-written NOW to heavily fine the management companies (or progressively increase a heavy fine to a gated community’s refusals), then maybe things can be resolved – and even for the 2010 Census, not just for 2020!”

    that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. Fines wont do anything because the cannot be enforced no matter how high. Think about it, the person denying entry is a minimum wage concierge (probably 25% dependent on residents gratuities), or a frequently changing building manager.) They’re not legally accountable.

    What needed to be done was less of the childish PR of idiotic posters, buttons, key-chains, coffee mugs, water bottles, etc needed to be printed, and more serious work needed to be done contacting the business people who own and control the buildings. ONLY they have an interest in getting their residents counted. The doorman and building manager probably only worry they can get in trouble with their employer and residents by letting in enumerators.

    Public relations is not just about the hoi polli, it is about identifying and targeting key persons. Those persons are not doorman, they are the holding companies of the buildings. And the target strategy can’t be threats, but a sales pitch on why it is good for them.

  30. Enumerate this Says:

    @inthecensus: Your two posts are spot-on. The lack of forethought that went into building relationships with property managers and other influential gatekeepers is astounding.

    The permanent decennial staff at Suitland aren’t evil people. Yet it’s hard to avoid the question of what they’ve been doing for the past 10 years. We know they weren’t supervising the HHC contract with Harris. And we know they weren’t devising a thorough, systematic system to curry favor and gain access at well-to-do restricted entry multifamily structures.

    Part of the problem is the lack of empowerment — really, the opposite of empowerment — throughout the chain of command. I listened to an enumerator loudly complain today about an intransigent building manager. When I suggested she contact our city’s census coordinator and ask her to intervene, she told me that wasn’t her job.

    (In fact, 99 percent of our enumerators don’t know that there is a city-employed census coordinator whose job is supposed to be outreach and smoothing out rough patches. Her existence was never mentioned during training or afterward. She could have been the one building relationships. Instead — because no one knows about her — she spent all her time handing out pencils at the grocery store.)

    During the enumerator’s tirade, the CLAs sat by silently — it never occurred to them to call the property management firm, make an appointment, and show up in a suit.

    Instead the best anyone seems able to do is some half-assed coffee-stained photocopied “to whom it may concern” letter from the LCO.

    And not to put this on census corporate culture, but enumerators (and CLs and CLAs) don’t even seem empowered to dress or act like professional people. The enumerator I referred to is a heavyset, slovenly-dressed woman who doesn’t command respect. I am constantly surprised at the sloppy attire — jean shorts, T-shirts, ball caps, etc. When I’ve been asked to complete “hard case” EQs by my CL, I always go in a suit and tie and leather folder. I’m not trying to be a junior G-man, but I -am- trying to get people to cooperate. Business people — especially high end property managers — will always respect the guy in the suit more than the guy in his pajamas.

  31. Enumerate this Says:

    To the people wondering what to do with your black canvas tote bags, sell them on eBay like this enterprising CL in Mt. Airy, Md. who has seven of them! Buy it now price of $15, quite a deal! We should take up a collection and buy Morse one.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-OFFICIAL-2010-U-S-Census-Bureau-Messenger-Bag-/140427280584?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_CSA_MWA_Backpacks&hash=item20b21e40c8

  32. Shirley Says:

    ConnieLuray, we were told we had to turn in anything that could identify us as a census worker, including the bag, badge,, NVs and even the sign for my car window!! When I was hired for VDC, I got a new (used) bag and training manual. My old CL wants to have a “burn party” to get rid of any other paper supplies that are leftover.

  33. Enumerate this Says:

    Regarding the tote bags, I posted above (but am stuck in the awaiting moderation queue) that the bags are being sold on eBay. Against the rules, no doubt, but that’s not stopping some enterprising CL in Mount Airy, Md., who has seven tote bags — with full supply kits — for sale.

    Including the link shunts the post to moderation, so I will simply suggest folks visit eBay and search for “census” and “2010.”

  34. California FOS Says:

    Anonymous asks: “I repeat my statement….the census bureau is a data collection agency not a law enforcement agency. Enumerators, CL’s, CLA’s, LCO managers, RCC employees and RCC managers…none of them have the power nor the authority to fine or arrest anyone not in compliance with filling out a form or giving us information. so what do you expect us to do???”

    How about call someone who DOES have that authority? If you’re an enumerator and someone is threatening or assaulting you or otherwise interfering with your duties, you should get to safety and then immediately call 911. Make the police respond. Educate the officer about the provisions of 18 USC 111, if you have to. Carry a copy of the statute with you in your shoulder bag. But actually, in most cases, the officer will just tell the offending resident to shut up, quit acting like a jerk and answer your questions, and as long as you haven’t been physically injured, that’s really the result we’re looking for in the first place.

    Actually, what Census headquarters needs to do is to either hire their own temporary, sworn enforcement agents to respond to calls from enumerators in the field and enforce the laws of the census, or else contract with one of the existing federal law-enforcement agencies (FBI, U.S. Marshals, Secret Service, whatever) that has nationwide presence, for that purpose.

  35. woot Says:

    The public would love that.

  36. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Is this proxy-guesstimation stuff happening elsewhere? If so, please let me know where in the comments section or by contacting me. Thanks, Stephen

  37. Anonymous2010 Says:

    Thank you, Stephen, for your post. I have wanted to see something like this for a long time.

    “What happened last month at the Brooklyn LCO was indeed unfortunate. But let us not be naive: Data collection inaccuracies and falsifications are happening throughout the entire New York Regional Area and possibly the entire nation, though perhaps on a smaller scale than in Brooklyn.”

    You refer to a critical issue which needs to get a lot of attention, which is “data inaccuracies.” This needs to be investigated on a large scale. I do not mean falsification, which is getting the attention it needs. I mean that Enumerator Questionnaires were handed in with errors which were ignored in the panic to meet unrealistic production goals. The result is that the data is not accurate. Regional abandoned any integrity with regard to the quality of the data to meet those production goals, at any cost.

    You also note:

    “The few career census employees who valued a fair and accurate count and finished last can not be proud of their work. Those responsible for promoting the individuals won’t let them be proud. When it comes time for their annual performance reviews, the fact they finished last will be reflected poorly and jeopardize their careers.”

    I am glad there are some career employees who valued a fair and accurate count, however, the decision makers among them abandoned the idea of an accurate count to protect themselves in order to produce the numbers they needed. I am again referring to sacrificing accuracy in the Enumerator Questionnaires to their production goals. There needs to be attention to this and scrutiny to their work. This kind of behavior has compromised the Census.

  38. EveryoneCounts Says:

    Anon2010 – how would you go about proving these “inaccuracies” allegations?

  39. Anonymous2010 Says:

    EveryoneCounts – Those people who are aware of the inaccuracies would know how to prove them. I would be interested in knowing from what perspective you are asking this question. If you would like, please contact me directly:
    privateetavirp@peoplepc.com

  40. Another Census Worker Says:

    California FOS: Here, we were told by the LCO to do the adds.

  41. Brooklyn NE Enumerator Says:

    Dude, be honest – if the Census Bureau had fined people, you would have found a way to object to that.

  42. RitzyEnum Says:

    inthecensus (13 July): “that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. Fines wont do anything because the cannot be enforced no matter how high. Think about it, the person denying entry is a minimum wage concierge (probably 25% dependent on residents gratuities), or a frequently changing building manager.) They’re not legally accountable.”

    You missed the point.

    If the laws were altered to actually allow the Census to write citations/fines, then the owners/managers of the buildings would get the bill – NOT a doorman or a proxy manager. If some conglomerates in Boston (for example, as they ran/owned an apartment building when I lived in Baltimore) were fined for a substantial amount of cash per building where the Census could not gain access, then we could prevent false records and/or “scandals” like this.

  43. Proxy Guessing Says:

    SRM:

    The “proxy-guesstimation” seems to be the only way to finish EQs for two scenarios in my area – private/gated areas (usually UHEs) and potentially illegal renters/rental units.

    On one occasion, the office manager of a gated complex met me at the entrance, blocked the driveway with his SUV and just ran through the list of addresses with “that’s a barn, vacant, they live in Florida, guesthouse…”. Without gaining access from someone else to escort me, that would’ve ended in proxy guessing.

    And on other occasions, in some growing Hispanic areas, some neighbors don’t know each other – just how many people MIGHT live there. If they can be located at work, the residents’ managers refuse to let them speak with the enumerator “on their dime”.

    It’s actually quite refreshing to see how many Hispanics (both legal and new to this country) know much more about the Census than people who live in those gated communities. Like one guy said after stepping out of his mansion.. “So this Census thing.. is this from the government?”

  44. Jeff Says:

    Thank you. I worked Adress Canvasing, GQV, GQAV, GQE, ETL and NRFU. I supported UL during ETL. Throughout, I was either CL, GQS or FOS. I worked 27 hours without sleep during the SBE TNSOL night. Yet as NRFU grew caotic in the LCO, and new people arrived daily from the RCC and everyone from AMFO to OOS to experienced clerks became the scapegoats and were fired I kept on with the idea of doing good work for the Census. When a FOS was told he couldn’t take time off for his two year old son’s surgery, and I was told to “drive by HUs and record them as occupied” I decided it was enough Census for me. Very disfunctional to say the least.

  45. reply Says:

    Jeff, I agree. LCO told us 4 days ago that we were 33% complete. Yesterday, we were told that we are 98% complete!!! No one believes these statistics Our work is finished?!

  46. Anna Neimus Says:

    Jeff you need to stop it. You were just as much a part of the corruption goingson as Aviles and Merritt. You’re shameless. The fact that you would even go on this blog site and comment is despicable and shows the level of suckerdom that you practice. You whistleblew and you pointed fingers when put under pressure by the RCC and IG’s office.

  47. rosalind martin Says:

    I was fortunate to have a good workspace with the 2010 for several months @ $14/hr…. Intelligent coworkers and decent hours. I was passed over for moving to a higher position. A fortunate happenstance as a number of people went berserk and left. In my underdog work, I too learned to “a-proxy-mate” to fill my quotas.
    My urban area probably has 10-15% vacancies (live elsewhere) by combining some of the highest income zips in the country and the U.N. … who’s gonna be living here and paying NYC taxes?
    30 years ago when I worked in Social Security and in Immigration, I was similarly amazed at the government in action: poor use of technology, inappropriate training and a military-like top-down mentality.
    I’m certain that 2020 will require a complete rethinking of procedure. Sure going door to door has an old-world feel for a system that began centuries ago, but that’s kinda ovah…fuhgeddaboudit.