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.

Follow up: Census Bureau gives “awards” to organizations that did “nothing more than cover” the 2010 Census

I came across a cheeky and informative post from the Willammette Week, a publication based in Portland, Oregon about the Census Bureau’s “awards” scheme. Here’s the post:

Look what we got recently! It’s a plaque from the United States Census Bureau!

The Census Bureau tells us in an email the plaque cost $6.95 and that it sent 135 of these plaques to organizations in Portland as a token of gratitude for helping out with this past census. That works out to about $938 in Portland, not including shipping,

Wondering how that played out around the country? We did too. About 59,000 of the plaques were sent nationwide. Multiply that by their $6.95 cost and that’s about $410,000 worth of gratitude, again not including shipping.

These plaques and thank-you letters were sent to organizations “that collectively provided countless donated goods and services to the 2010 Census effort,” according to an email from Census Bureau spokeswoman Michelle Lowe. Lowe’s email also states that some of the plaques went to organizations that helped save the census bureau $23 million by providing resources to help “test and train” census workers and to other news organizations who did nothing more than cover the census like we did.

Um, thanks.


Note: Somebody at the Census Bureau has decided to make the word “newspaper” into the words “news paper.” The grammar police who have commented on MyTwoCensus so many times should be all over the Census Bureau for this egregious error.

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17 Responses to “Follow up: Census Bureau gives “awards” to organizations that did “nothing more than cover” the 2010 Census”

  1. Mary Says:

    Nothing? Are you sure about that?

  2. JAG Says:

    Which organizations received a plaque that “did nothing” for the census?

  3. SRM=SarcasticRepublicanMoron Says:

    I have been following this blog for months and to call yourselves a “team of professional political journalists” is like calling the census a fiscally responsible operation. Anyone who worked for the census should be commended for their contribution to civil service. “If you can take the hot lead enema, then you can cast the first stone.” -Lenny Bruce. SRM get a real job.

  4. Jonzes Says:

    I use to appreciate coming to this site for insightful info, but now it seems the article-poster is sensationalizing things so-as to have an article to post. The Census was a big operation, involving every person in the population — so if the local RCC wants to show appreciation to those that helped in a big way, then what’s wrong with that? Now, if you said that each of these people were receiving a $500 gift card, instead of a $7 plaque — then you would have a worthy story! I like this site, I want to come back and read the stories — so please don’t post these kind of waste-of-my-time accusation articles, until you have something really worthwhile to be accusing of!


    DId Dominguez who lost the NYS Senate elections get an award for his cover-up by breaching the Hatch Law? Imagine him in Albany with Monserrate and Espada…Thank GOD he did not mwin and the other two lost!!!!!

  6. Al Forteni Says:

    Now, I see all of the census operative chiming in. If you can’t stand this site and don’t believe in any of it, why are you still reading it? You do it because you want to be the apologists for the Census and cover up your embarassment for having been part of such an ineffective operation. We were all duped. The Census PR machine at work. Face it, the 2010 Census was a big operation, that got only a slightly bigger response than in 2000, squandered millions of dollars more than in 2000, cut operations so short that the 2010 Census isn’t valid, had the worst management possible, and abused numbers of employees. That is what you should be upset about and not project your anger at this website. This site is a “watchdog” focussing on the Census sniffing, out potential problems. They accomplished that. They didn’t promise anymore. Stop wasting your time and go to Dr. Groves blog, he will tell you how good everything is, which is what you want to hear. Head in the sand, never sees anything bad, just bland. Live happily ever after.

  7. Smithz Says:

    JAG – Did SRM change the headline after you post?

    Note: Someone changed “creative writer” to “journalist” on their about page.

  8. FL-RI Says:

    Smithz – Yes, the article title has been changed, he changed nothing to “nothing more than cover”

  9. george w Says:

    Aha SRM now I really understand why our Websters Dictionary continues the word MORON in every edition. I worked for Census 2010 and it was a disaster! Previously worked Census 2000 and that was ok in my book. SRM why don’t you continue to watch your WWF and UFC fights on TV as that may be able to rectify problems with your anger management.

  10. the truth Says:


  11. Mary Says:

    I wasn’t to comment, but I keep getting distracted by images of Stephen watching WWF as part of therapy. ha!

  12. Solong Census Says:

    Some of you are just plain sick and have nothing of any importance to say. You spent too much time out in the 100 degree heat and had too many doors slammed in your faces. Post Traumatic Stress syndrome? It is time to look for a job where you can contribute something positive.

  13. All sensed out Says:

    Dominguez ordered so many plaques in NY
    They’re giving them away! Too bad he
    didn’t get a chance to give them to every organization
    in the bronx he laundered money through
    Employees, LCO’s, Area managers, and maybe
    You too SRM may receive one. There are
    Literally thousands of plaques left in
    New York I hear and a week left to distribute.
    Watch them dissappear! The Thank you
    campaign another disaster With my local
    shoe repair shop receiving a plaque
    For doing nothing more than having then
    Post a decal in window that says its in
    Our hands!

  14. JAG Says:

    Here’s another slant on the same story…..

    I helped the Census and all I got was this stupid plaque..

    Tom Johnson agreed to help the Census count in 2010. He estimates his organization spent 500 hours helping out. He estimates the value provided to be around $10,000. And what did the Census give him in return? A plaque worth about $7.00! Tom said, ‘typical government operation. I give them $10k worth of products and all I get is this cheap plaque!!!

    Tom talked to friends and other community members and all agreed. ‘That is a typical responses of this cheap government!’

  15. Says:

    I wish we’d gotten plaques at the lower level for being exceptional workers, and being first to finish or fewest returned EQs, or something. Still, I am proud of working for an important operation, with no recognition beyond the extra dollars in my bank account.

  16. GS-X Says:

    Dear Recipients of Plaques,
    Don’t be fooled. Your community may have been undercounted or overcounted.
    While we don’t expect to hear from those who think they were overcounted,
    you should not let a stupid plaque stop you from challenging an undercount.

  17. Jack Says:


    Do you just look for silly stories and report and try to get people riled up about it like it is a big deal?

    Do you have any background in business? I only ask because if you do, you need to return your degree, apologize to your coworkers…I don’t know.

    You really don’t need to be business genius to know that $6.95 is small price to pay for all the donated space that was given for Census operations. 1 instance: local mall that donated two (2) rooms for the Census. I imagine that those spots (at 800sq .ft each) rent, for $2000 per month conservatively. This is MA. We had it them April-August, 4 months. That is $8000 x 2= $16,000. Libraries all over the country donated rooms.

    Do you really think that $6.95…sorry, plus shipping, let’s say, $1.50 total $8.45 is a lot to pay for saving $16,000? Don’t you think a little plaque is really enough…they should get a nice gold plaque. Did you really use the word “scheme”? Responsible journalism….heard of it?

    Lastly, you jump on someone for a typo…please. This is NOT THE CENSUS. It is the Decennial Census, which is separate from the Bureau of the Census. They are all temporary workers.

    The Decennial Census It is the black sheep of the Bureau of the Census. I didn’t know this till September 1st when my job ended. And trust me, I have a lot of problems with the Decennial Census, the management etc… I am no cheerleader.

    Seeing that you are always trying to get someone to break down and confess guilt maybe you should reevaluate your little story here and offer an apology.