Even though nearly all enumerations have been completed at this point, a reader submitted a photo to us from the Whiting, Indiana Pierogi Festival (yum!) that implies partnership/outreach efforts are ongoing. MyTwoCensus.com seeks to determine why money is still being spent on partnership/road tour activities. Take a look at your tax dollars, still at work:
Posts Tagged ‘road tour’
Here’s a piece from the Bellvue News-Democrat:
$300,000 census promotion falls short in East St. Louis
Only 63 percent of residents mailed in their formsBY SCOTT WUERZ – News-DemocratDespite the investment of more than $300,000 in promotional programs designed to encourage East St. Louis residents to return their census forms, the city had the worst participation rate of any large community in the metro-east.
According to U.S. Census Bureau records, 63 percent of East St. Louis residents mailed in their forms. O’Fallon had the highest return rate of any large city in the metro-east with an 81 percent response rate.
Edwardsville saw 80 percent of residences return their census forms, Fairview Heights had a 79 percent response rate, Granite City had a 78 percent return, 77 percent of Belleville residences and 75 percent of Collinsville households returned their census forms.
H/t to Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporting outlet Pro Publica for sharing the following data with us. Here are some screen captures that depict how your taxpayer dollars are being spent (…interestingly, Census Bureau Communications Director Steve Jost’s former boss Carolyn Maloney represents New York City and the areas where $125,000,000 in stimulus money is headed in communications contracts!). The amount of money being spent on partnership support is particularly disturbing as I have received multiple reports of partnership materials being DISCARDED by the palette!
Here’s a great use of federal and state funds…not:
H/t to KMOX in Missouri…
At low-turnout Census event, officials worry state could lose Congressional seat
Rebecca Berg Reporting
JEFFERSON CITY (State Capitol Bureau) — At an event where state lawmakers and Census officials urged Missourians to “stand up and be counted,” not even belly dancers, free food and gifts could entice people to show up.
The 2010 Census “Portrait of America Road Tour” pulled up to the state Capitol on Monday for a promotional event to encourage participation in the U.S. Census. Organizers attempted to draw crowds with free food, belly dancing, gifts, music and speeches from prominent lawmakers.Census belly dancers attract statehouse spectators
But few people attended. During a presentation by U.S. Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, state House Minority Leader Paul LeVota and other state and local officials, the audience consisted of fewer than 20 people.
Lori Simms, the Office of Administration spokeswoman, said the weather likely limited the turnout.
“Because it’s cold, a lot of people went inside,” Simms said.
Two state employees, Linda Albin and Betty Lock, braved the chilly weather to eat hot dogs and chips from the event on the steps of the state Capitol.
They said they enjoyed the free food but were not convinced the event would result in greater Census participation.
“If people aren’t already aware of the Census, this isn’t going to help,” Lock said of the food and entertainment.
The stakes for the 2010 Census are high. If Missouri’s population is counted as too low, the state could lose federal funding and one of its nine congressional districts.
Commissioner Kelvin Simmons, the Office of Administration chair who served as the master of ceremonies for the event, said Census participation will be of great political importance to the state.
“We are on the cusp of potentially losing a congressional seat,” Simmons said. Simmons said losing a seat in Congress would be “significant” for the state and would result in state legislators losing power in the nation’s capital.
Leutkemeyer said he would not predict whether the state will lose a seat.
“It’s a little premature,” he said. “Let’s wait and see what the (Census) count is.”
Earlier, in his prepared remarks, Leutkemeyer noted that he and his wife have already submitted their Census form.
Dennis Johnson, the Census regional director, said he is working with local officials and media outlets to educate people about the Census and promote higher participation than in past years.
“Our goal is to make sure people send in their forms,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure we have more accurate information.”
Getting that information has required billions of dollars in federal funding. Approximately $15 billion was appropriated by the federal government to fund the Census. The event Monday, Simms estimates, cost the state $500.
Census Bureau Sends Out Press Release About New Mapping Tool…But Fails To Let Us Know Where On The Internet It Can Be Found!Thursday, February 25th, 2010
UPDATE: I found the mapping tool on the Census Bureau’s web site under the “Press Release” section. Click HERE to access it. Now, what I can say is that I hope this data is regularly updated throughout the headcount. BUT I have already noticed that data from some towns and cities is present while it is missing for others. The map is filled with blank spots. Why? I’m not sure, but I just e-mailed the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office for answers…
I’ve actually been waiting for the below press release for a really, really long time — ever since Steve Jost told me about this long-awaited new function of the Census Bureau’s web site when we met in Suitland back in October. However, the Census Bureau managed to screw this one up, because they didn’t include a link to the mapping site they are speaking of in their press release. A cursory check of 2010.census.gov reveals nothing of this new mapping tool to check response rates. Nor does a Google search for “2010 Census mapping tool” reveal anything other than the site that allows people to track the Census Bureau’s “Road Tour” vehicles. Come on Census Bureau…tell us where to find the tool!
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEB. 25, 2010
Census Bureau Launches Online Mapping Tool Showing
2000 Census Response Rates to Help Communities
Prepare for 2010 Census
With mail-out of the 2010 Census forms less than one month away, the
Census Bureau today unveiled a new online mapping tool that allows
communities nationwide to prepare for the 2010 Census by seeing how well
they did mailing back their 2000 Census forms.
Visitors to the new Google-based map will be able to find the 2000
Census mail participation rates for states, counties and cities, as well as
smaller areas called “census tracts.” After the 2010 Census forms are
mailed out in mid-March, the online map will be updated to include a
tracking tool with daily updates of the 2010 Census mail participation
rates for local areas across the nation. Users will be able to compare
their 2010 Census progress using their 2000 Census rates as a benchmark.
“The future of your community starts with a look at its past,” said
Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves. “The 2000 Census map allows
communities to see which areas need extra attention and reminders to
improve mail participation. We will be challenging communities nationwide
to take 10 minutes to fill out and mail back their 2010 Census forms next
month.” The Census Bureau has also created an online toolkit with ideas
that communities can use to inspire their residents to improve their mail
The emphasis on encouraging mail participation in the census is a
practical one. For every
1 percent increase in mail response, taxpayers will save an estimated $85
million in federal funds. Those funds would otherwise be required to send
census takers to collect census responses in person from households that
don’t mail back the form. After the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau was able
to return $305 million in savings to the federal Treasury because mail
rates exceeded expectations ¯ a move the Census Bureau would like to repeat
In 2000, 72 percent of households that received a form mailed it back.
The mail participation rate is a new measure designed to give a better
picture of actual participation by factoring out census forms that the U.S.
Postal Service was unable to deliver as addressed. It should be
particularly useful in areas with seasonal populations or a large number of
vacancies or foreclosures.
As required by the U.S. Constitution, the once-a-decade census must
count every person living in the United States. Census data are the basis
for our democratic system of government, ensuring that representation in
government is equally distributed. The data also help determine how more
than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed to state local and
tribal governments every year. That includes money that could go toward
roads, hospitals, schools and critical social services.
The color-coded calendar, which also includes other Census Bureau events, is available from the Bureau’s web site, and syncs with iCal, Outlook and Google Calendar. It’s also available via RSS.
You can also follow the locations of the road tour vehicles on Twitter.
There will be one national vehicle and 13 smaller regional vehicles. The national vehicle, which will be unveiled today in Times Square, is a 46-foot gooseneck trailer towed by a dual axle, quad-cab pick-up truck. It’s expected to visit high-profile events nationwide.
The regional vehicles are sprinter cargo vans towing 14-foot bumper pull trailers. They’ll be at a variety of events in their areas.
The vehicles, which the Census Bureau has named, are equipped with GPS technology to track their progress online. Each vehicle also has it’s own Twitter feed.
After the jump, see the full list of regional vehicles, Twitter feeds and locations the national vehicle is slated to visit.
The Census Bureau’s road tour to promote the 2010 Census will begin next week.
The road tour will kickoff on Jan. 4 in Times Square in New York City.
Thirteen tour vehicles will travel more than 150,000 miles across the country to educate people about the 2010 Census. The tour will stop at more than 800 events, including parades, festivals and the Super Bowl, according to the Census Bureau.