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.

Posts Tagged ‘children’

How well did the Dora the Explorer 2010 Census advertising spot do?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Here’s the ad…I admit that the tune is quite catchy:

However, using our Twitter tracker widget, the jury is still out on whether or not the campaign was a success:

MyTwoCensus Investigation: How many politicians got jobs for their kids or other relatives with the Census Bureau?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I know that I, along with millions of other people who applied for 2010 Census jobs (Full disclosure: I did this to investigate the hiring process for this blog) never received so much as a call to come in for an interview. Yet, I have now received three tips via e-mail that relatives of politicians (two Democrats and one Republican) have been hired/are employed by the Census Bureau. This is an official call to action for the Inspector General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to launch investigations into whether nepotism or other illegal forms of hiring took place during any phase of 2010 Census operations or at the Census Bureau in general:

MyTwoCensus have been tipped off about the following:

1. Austin Esposito, son of Democratic Senator from Missouri Claire McCaskill. Check out some screenshots from his FACEBOOK page. (Come on dude, you should know to up your privacy settings by now. You’re the son of a Senator! I’m surprised little old non-partisan me is the first person to post these rather than GOP operatives or right-wing bloggers!)

Editor’s Note: I am most concerned about the McCaskill/Esposito connection because there have been so many complaints about a lack of 2010 Census jobs in Missouri.

Philadelphia Mommy Blogger Must Decide How To Count Her Kids…

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

OK, I hate “Mommy Blogs.” Seriously. Don’t ever make me read them. I’d rather be sentenced to hard labor. Nonetheless, here’s a fine blog post from a mother in Philly who doesn’t want to differentiate between her “adopted” and “biologicial” children on her 2010 Census form:

Biological or Adopted? and Filling out the 2010 Census

Censusquest_2443-med Today has been a busy day of filling out forms – camper registration, health form, emergency contact information, autism grant application, back-up camp forms (in case we decide to send my son to a “special needs” camp), nursing home application (for my mother in law – and by far the most difficult of the forms I tackled today) and two rebate forms. What an exciting thing to do an a beautiful weekend afternoon.

Oh yeah, I also just finished filling out the 2010 Census form.

This is the third census form I’ve filled out as an adult. It gives me a sense of fulfilling my civic duty, just like when I vote. It took me about ten minutes to fill it out. It probably would have taken less time except I was a bit taken aback when I got to question two when I was entering the information for my two sons. That question asks how this person is related to Person 1 (the first person entered in the form). The options you can check are “biological son or daughter,” “adopted son or daughter,” or “stepson or stepdaughter.”

I suppose if we hadn’t created our family the way we did I wouldn’t think twice about it, but we did, and I do, and the question upset me a little.

At first I was irritated that I was being asked to differentiate between my two children. They are both my sons! They both took a hell of a lot of my blood, sweat and tears to get them here. And since we weren’t able to create a family the “old fashioned” way, they both cost us a damn lot of money to get them here too. So why do I need to indicate that my oldest is my “adopted” son? He’s no different from my youngest son as far as being my son. I’m hard pressed to think of any rational for this differentiation and my quick search on-line didn’t help me either.
But then I started to fill out the information for my youngest and I was actually stumped. Because he doesn’t really fit either of the three options if you want to get down and dirty technical with it. Because despite the fact that I was pregnant with him and gave birth to him, he is not genetically related to me or my husband. Since he is the result of embryo donation can I technically consider him my biological child?

I looked up the definition of “biological” and on the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary it defines it as “connected by direct genetic relationship rather than by adoption or marriage.” On the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition and the The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary it is defined as “related by blood or genetic lineage.”

I assume that when they came up with the questions for this census something like embryo adoption didn’t factor in there. I guess egg donation and sperm donation didn’t either. It’s actually a little tricky when you fill out the form, because depending on who you list as person number 1 dictates how you would “technically” answer this question. Do a Google search and see how this question is troubling the LGBT community.

Of course I filled out the form and answered all the questions and it will be in the mail tomorrow. Despite my irritation at that question I know it is important that everyone be counted. It certainly got me thinking though, and more interested in why the Census asks what it does and how information like “adopted or biological” will be used.

So did you send your Census back yet? And if you did, what did you think of that question, especially if you have “biological” kids? Did you think the options were strange?

This is an original Philly Moms Blog post. Kristine also writes on her personal blog, Mommy Needs Therapy or a Bottle of Wine, where she chronicles the good, the bad, and the crazy of her life as a mother, wife and woman.

Photo Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office

Using Dora The Explorer To Reach A Hard To Count Demographic

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

When we’re talking about hard-to-count groups in Census-land, we oftentimes forget one shocking statistic: Many people who have a child under the age of five in their household simply forget to list that child (or children) on their census forms. The Census Bureau is trying to combat this by partnering with Nickelodeon television show Dora The Explorer to spread the 2010 Census message. However, with less than one week before Americans start to receive their 2010 Census forms in the mail, we wonder if this initiative could have been timed to get the word out with more advance notice?

On a semi-related note, see the below chart:

Census Bureau Director to Launch Children Awareness Campaign Featuring
Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer

What: U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves and key partners will
hold a press conference to launch a 2010 Census public awareness
campaign, Children Count Too, about the importance of counting
infants and young children on census forms. In support of this
initiative, Census Bureau partner Nickelodeon will debut a new
television spot featuring Dora the Explorer, the popular
children’s character on the network’s award-winning animated
preschool series. The briefing will include a media
question-and-answer session.

When: Tuesday, March 9, 2010
10 a.m. (EST)

Who: Robert M. Groves, director, U.S. Census Bureau
Samantha Maltin, senior vice president of integrated marketing
and partnerships, Nickelodeon
Michael Laracy, director of policy reform and advocacy, Annie E.
Casey Foundation
William O’Hare, senior consultant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Chris Perille, vice president of corporate communications and
public affairs, Mead
Johnson Nutrition
Maria Gomez, president, Mary’s Center

Where: Mary’s Center
2355 Ontario Road, NW
Washington, DC 20009

The Salvation Army vs. The Census Bureau

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

On Friday, MyTwoCensus obtained a Salvation Army directive (click HERE for it) that details the circumstances in which the religious/charitable organization will and will not be cooperating with the Census Bureau. Highlights from the directive are as follows:

- Census takers will not be permitted to visit “group quarters” like Adult Rehabilitation Centers, Harbor Light Centers, transient lodges, residential facilities for children, and other temporary housing facilities “such as shelters for men, women, or families, in which the confidentiality of the beneficiaries is important to, and maintained by, the Salvation Army.”

- Though the Census Bureau wants to count individuals at “soup kitchens” and mobile food vans, the Salvation Army will NOT allow the Census Bureau to enter such facilities due to confidentiality concerns. Census-takers will be directed to contact the Salvation Army’s national headquarters and/or their legal counsel.

WSJ: Census Turns To Kids For Help

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Click HERE for full article from the Wall Street Journal

By Miriam Jordan:

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting a new set of volunteers: kids.

Seeking to ensure strong participation in the decennial population count, especially in so-called hard-to-count neighborhoods, the bureau has decided children are key.

That has led it to settings like Arlene Paynes’s first-grade class at Union Avenue Elementary School in this immigrant enclave on the edge of downtown. Last Thursday, the class gathered to read aloud a story titled “Who Counts?”

They learned about a boy named Joey who helps his grandmother, an Italian immigrant, fill out the Census form that arrives in the mail. The grandmother and grandchild decide that those who “count” in their household are Grandma, Mom, Dad, Joey, little sister Mary — and even Mr. Macintosh, who occupies a spare room “until he finds a job.” The only one who doesn’t count: their cat Clover.

It is always a struggle to get everyone to participate, but the 2010 count is expected to present new challenges. The gloomy economy has forced many people to move or seek temporary residence with friends or family, making them harder to reach. And the U.S. is still absorbing the largest wave of immigrants since the beginning of the 20th century. Many aren’t native English speakers; more than 10 million are here illegally.

The bureau is rolling out initiatives here and in other hard-to-reach tracts. It is running an information campaign in Spanish-language media, sending representatives to operate booths at street fairs and distributing forms in more languages than ever.

Early next year, households nationwide will begin receiving a form with 10 questions. It’s shorter than in the past, according to Census officials, and should take only 10 minutes to complete.

“Making children part of the national conversation,” said Renee Jefferson-Copland, chief of the school program at the Census Bureau, might be one of the most effective tools for reaching many adults.