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 ‘urban’

Problems with the homeless census

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Before you criticize this post as coming from a partisan media outlet, TownHall.com, read its claims over for legitimacy, as it seems to be legitimate:

“”We identified concerns with … inconsistent handling of individuals who either (1) stated that they had already been counted, or (2) stated that they had an address,” the IG reported. “We observed 83 enumerations — at shelters, soup kitchens, food vans and TNSOL sites — carried out by 13 local offices. In over half of our observations, enumerators were inconsistent in deciding whether or not to recount individuals who stated that they had already been counted. We also identified inconsistent practices when respondents indicated that they had an actual residential address. In particular, some of these individuals were counted during SBE, while other individuals were told that they could not be counted because they were not homeless. The enumerators’ natural inclination to avoid duplication often contradicted the procedures in the Census GQE manual.”"

Click HERE to read the full article about potential double-counting in the homeless census.

Maryland enacts law to count incarcerated people at their home addresses

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The following comes from PrisonersOfTheCensus.org:

April 13, 2010 – Today, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill ensuring that incarcerated persons will be counted as residents of their home addresses when new state and local legislative districts are drawn in Maryland.

The U.S. Census counts incarcerated people as residents of the prison location. When state and local government bodies use Census counts to draw legislative districts, they unintentionally enhance the weight of a vote cast in districts that contain prisons at the expense of all other districts in the state. Maryland is the first state to pledge to collect the home addresses of incarcerated people and correct the data state-wide.

The new law will help Maryland correct past distortions in representation caused by counting incarcerated persons as residents of prisons, such as the following:

  • 18% of the population currently credited to House of Delegates District 2B (near Hagerstown) is actually incarcerated people from other parts of the state. In effect, by using uncorrected Census data to draw legislative districts, the legislature granted every group of 82 residents in this districts as much political influence as 100 residents of every other district.
  • In Somerset County, a large prison is 64% of the 1st County Commission District, giving each resident in that district 2.7 times as much influence as residents in other districts. Even more troubling is that by including the prison population as “residents” in county districts, the county has been unable to draw an effective majority-African American district and has had no African-American elected to county government, despite settlement of a vote dilution lawsuit in the 1980s.

The problem is national as well. One legislative district in New York includes 7% prisoners; a legislative district in Texas includes 12% prisoners; and 15% of one Montana district are prisoners imported from other parts of the state. Indeed, the 2010 Census will find five times as many people in prison as it did just three decades ago. To address this problem, eight other states have similar bills pending in the current session or being prepared for reintroduction in the next legislative session: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

“The Maryland legislature has taken a much-needed step to ensure fairness in redistricting and reflect incarcerated populations in a more accurate way. Maryland’s action should pave the way for other states to end the distortions caused by counting incarcerated persons in the wrong place,” said Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative.

“Maryland’s ‘No Representation without Population’ Act will bring the state’s redistricting practices in line with the rules Maryland uses for determining legal residence of incarcerated persons for other purposes. We applaud this common-sense solution to a growing problem of fairness in representation,” said Brenda Wright, Director of the Democracy Program at Demos.

The legislation, passed as H.B. 496 and S.B.400, applies only to redistricting and would not affect federal funding distributions.

The Prison Policy Initiative and Demos have a national project to end prison-based gerrymandering, seeking to change how the U.S. Census counts incarcerated people and how states and local governments use prison counts when drawing districts. The two groups provided technical assistance to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland who led this effort.

In addition, Mr. Wagner and Ms. Wright both testified in support of Maryland’s new law at legislative hearings this spring. Their testimony pointed out that HB496/SB400 has precedent in the practice of more than 100 rural counties around the country that currently revise the Census Bureau’s prison counts for internal districting purposes, and in the laws of states such as Kansas that adjust the Census for other purposes.

PPI and Demos long have advocated for the Census Bureau to change its practices so that incarcerated persons would be counted at their home residences on a nationwide basis. While it is too late for that change to be made for the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau’s recent decision to accelerate the release of its prison count data so that states can more readily identify prison populations in the Census will be helpful to states such as Maryland that wish to make their own adjustments.

PPI and Demos applaud the lead sponsors of the legislation, Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Senator Catherine Pugh, who deserve special credit for their leadership on this issue. Although both represent legislative districts that contain large prison populations currently counted as part of their districts, both recognized that the issue of fairness and accuracy in statewide redistricting should take precedence over individual concerns. PPI and Demos are also encouraged by the bi-partisan support for the bill including that of Republican Senators J. Lowell Stoltzfus and Donald F. Munson.

Cheap Advertising Available For Those Who Wish To Send Pro-2010 Census Message

Monday, October 19th, 2009
I received the following letter from Blulinemedia, a 2010 Census partner that plans to donate unsold advertising space on busses across the nation to organizations who want to spread pro-2010 Census messages (at significant discounts):

As a 2010 Census national partner, we have unsold advertising space to donate on municipal/city bus INTERIORS in various markets

for an advertising term of Feb. – Apr. 2010 for 2010 Census messages (i.e., encouraging citizens to participate and be counted).

DONATED AD TERM
Feb. – Apr. ’10 (3 months)

COSTS TO PRINT

The ad space is donated to each participating organization.

Each participating organization is responsible for design of the artwork and the cost to print the ads.

Below is the cost to print for each market:

Market with 200 buses: $4,872 (retail value: $14,950 to $19,950, depending on the market).

Market with 100 buses: $3,872 (retail value: $12,950 to $17,950, depending on the market).

Market with 50 buses: $2,872 (retail value: $10,950 to $14,950, depending on the market).

All printing has to come through Blu Line Media, pursuant to contracts with the bus companies.

ARTWORK

Artwork due date:

Dec. 21, 2009

Size: 27″ wide by 11″ high

Live area: 26″ wide by 10″ high

Format: High-res. PDF

DPI: 300

Delivery: email to dannyp@blulinemedia.net

AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE MARKETS

(Parentheticals indicate the number of minimum buses to use in a market)

Alabama
Birmingham (100)

Arizona
Phoenix (200)
Tempe (100)
Tucson (200)

Arkansas
Little Rock (100)

California
Davis (100)
Sacramento (200)
Stockton (100)
Modesto (50)
Marin (incl. San Rafael) (50)
San Francisco (200)
East Bay (Contra Costa County, incl. Concord & Walnut Creek) (200)
East Bay (Alameda County, incl. Oakland) (200)
San Mateo County (incl. Redwood City) (200)
Santa Clara Valley (incl. San Jose & Silicon Valley) (200)
Santa Cruz (100)
Monterey (incl. Salinas) (100)
Fresno (100)
Bakersfield (100)
Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties (200)
Los Angeles County, North (incl. San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena) (200)
Los Angeles County, West (incl. Santa Monica) (200)
Los Angeles County, South and East (incl. downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach) (200)
Los Angeles County, South Bay (incl. Torrance & the Beach Cities) (200)
Los Angeles County, Suburban (San Fernando Valley) (200)
Lancaster (100)
Coachella Valley (50)
Inland Empire (incl. San Bernardino & Riverside Counties) (200)
Orange County (200)
San Diego County, North (incl. Oceanside & Del Mar) (200)
San Diego County, Central, Eastern & Southern (200)

Colorado
Aspen and surrounding communities (100)
Colorado Springs (50)
Fort Collins (50)
Mesa County (incl. Grand Junction) (50)
Denver (200)

Connecticut
Bridgeport (50)
Hartford (200)
New Haven (incl. Wallingford) (100)
Norwalk (50)
Stamford (50)
Waterbury (a/k/a Central Naugatuck Valley), New Britain, Bristol, and Meriden (50)

Delaware
State of Delaware (200)

Florida
Broward County (incl. Fort Lauderdale) (200)
Daytona Beach (50)
Ft. Myers (Lee County) (50)
Gainesville (100)
Jacksonville (200)
Manatee County (incl. Brandenton) (50)
Melbourne (100)
Miami (200)
Orlando (200)
Palm Beach (100)
Sarasota (50)
Clearwater (incl. St Petersburg) (200)
Tallahassee (100)
Tampa (200)

Georgia
Atlanta (200)
Augusta (100)
Gwinnett County (incl. Lawrenceville) (50)
Savannah (50)

Hawaii
Island of Oahu (City of Honolulu routes) (200)
Island of Oahu (Rural routes) (200)

Idaho
Boise (50)

Illinois
Champaign (100)
Chicago (200)
Chicago, Suburban (incl. Arlington Heights and Skokie) (200)
Macomb (50)
Madison County (incl. Granite City) (100)
Peoria (100)
Rockford (50)
Rock Island County (incl. Moline) (100)
St. Clair County (incl. E. St. Louis, IL) (200)

Indiana
Bloomington (50)
Fort Wayne (50)
Gary (50)
Indianapolis (200)
Lafayette (100)
Muncie (50)
South Bend (50)

Iowa
Ames (100)
Des Moines (100)

Kansas
Topeka (50)
Wichita (50)

Kentucky
Lexington (50)
Louisville (200)
Northern Kentucky (incl. Ft. Wright) (100)

Louisiana
Baton Rouge (100)
Lafayette (50)
New Orleans (100)

Maryland
Annapolis (50)
Baltimore (200)
College Park (100)
Montgomery County (200)
Prince George County (100)

Mass.
Amherst (100)
Boston (200)
Brockton (50)
New Bedford – Fall River (100)
Springfield (incl. N. Hampton and Univ. of Mass.) (200)
Worcester (100)

Michigan
Ann Arbor (100)
Detroit, City of (200)
Detroit, Suburban (200)
Flint (200)
Grand Rapids (100)
Kalamazoo (50)

Minnesota
Burnsville (50)
Duluth (100)
Minneapolis-St. Paul (200)
St. Cloud (50)

Missouri
Kansas City (200)
Springfield (50)
St. Louis (200)

Nebraska
Omaha (200)

Nevada
Las Vegas (200)
Reno (100)
Stateline (incl. Lake Tahoe) (50)

New Hampshire
Concord (50)

New Jersey
Gateway Region (200)
Skylands Region (200)
Shore Region (200)
Delaware River Region (200)
Greater Atlantic City Region (200)
Southern Shore Region (200)

New Mexico
Albuquerque (200)
Las Cruces (50)
Santa Fe (50)

New York
Albany (200)
Binghamton (100)
Buffalo-Niagara (200)
Ithaca (50)
Nassau County (Long Island) (200)
Rochester (200)
Rome-Utica (50)
Suffolk County (Long Island) (200)
Syracuse (200)
Westchester County (200)

New York City
Bronx, The (200)
Brooklyn (200)
Manhattan (200)
Queens (200)
Staten Island (200)

North Carolina
Chapel Hill (100)
Charlotte (200)
Durham (50)
Greensboro (50)
Winston-Salem (50)

Ohio
Akron (100)
Canton (100)
Cincinnati (200)
Cleveland (200)
Columbus (200) (call for availability)
Dayton (200) (call for availability)
Toledo (200)

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City (50)
Tulsa (100)

Oregon
Albany (100)
Corvallis (50)
Eugene (100)
Portland (200)
Salem (100)

Pennsylvania
Allentown (100)
Cambria County (incl. Johnstown) (50)
Erie (100)
Harrisburg (100)
Lancaster (50)
Monroe County (50)
Philadelphia (200)
Reading (50)
Scranton (50)
State College (incl. surrounding townships) (50)
Williamsport (50)

Puerto Rico
San Juan (200)

Rhode Island
Providence (200)

South Carolina
Charleston (100)
Columbia (100)
Greenville/Spartanburg (100)

Tennessee
Chattanooga (50)
Clarksville (50)
Knoxville (100)
Memphis (200)
Nashville (200)

Texas
Austin (200)
Corpus Christi (100)
Dallas (200)
Fort Worth (200)
El Paso (200)
Houston (200)
Laredo (50)
Denton County (incl. Lewisville) (50)
Lubbock (50)
San Antonio (200)

Utah
Logan (50)
Park City (50)
Salt Lake City (200)

Virginia
Alexandria (100)
Arlington (50)
Fairfax (200)
Hampton-Norfolk-Virginia Beach (200)
Loudoun County (incl. Leesburg) (50)
Richmond (200)
Roanoke (50)
Williamsburg (100)
Woodbridge (50)

Washington
Bellingham (50)
Bremerton (100)
Everett (200)
Grays Harbor (50)
Jefferson (100)
Kenosha (50)
Olympia (50)
Richland (50)
Seattle, North (200)
Seattle, Central (200)
Seattle, South (200)
Spokane (200)
Tacoma (200)
Vancouver (100)
Wenatchee (Chelan and Douglas Counties) (50)
Yakima (50)

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. (200)

West Virginia
Charleston (100)

Wisconsin
La Crosse (50)
Madison (200)
Milwaukee (200)
Racine (50)
Waukesha (50)

Please call or write with questions. I’m happy to help.

Danny Pouladian
Blu Line Media
310-729-5190
www.blulinemedia.net
dannyp@blulinemedia.net

Updated Post: Census Bureau fails to hire residents of Calhoun County, South Carolina

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

UPDATED POST:

Stacy Gimble, a Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau, provided an update to our original story:

In following up with our Charlotte Regional office, we have confirmed that
the Census Bureau has actually hired 16 people from Calhoun County to work
in Calhoun County in our address listing operation.

Two additional applicants are being trained as possible replacements in
Calhoun County.  This is a standard procedure in case anyone currently on
the job cannot fulfill his/her duties for any reason.  This brings the
total number of census workers hired in Calhoun County to 18.

Also, the Times and Democrat has agreed to run another story tomorrow,
correcting this information.

Original Post:

Today, the South Carolina Times and Democrat reported that none of Calhoun County’s 15,000+ residents were selected to work for the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2010 Census, even though 140,000 Americans have already taken to the streets to start the Bureau’s initial address verification process. This is an interesting development, because we now have evidence that the Census Bureau has taken their hiring errors to both extremes by failing to hire people from large swaths of land in rural counties while also not hiring qualified people in urban areas who live outside of artificial neighborhood boundaries within municipalities.

Note: We have sent inquiries to four different Census Bureau officials in Washington asking them to explain why Calhoun County’s residents have been neglected from employment. The only justification for not hiring workers from Calhoun County would be if not a single individual passed the Census Bureau’s exams, which, generally are passed by some 40% of applicants.

Here’s the scoop from the Times and Democrat:

ST. MATTHEWS – Complaining of poor communication from the U.S. Census Bureau, Calhoun County officials are particularly peeved that not a single local resident has been hired by the federal agency to help with the 2010 count.

County Administrator Lee Prickett said Monday that, although the county had provided a location for the federal workers to train census taker applicants, “we didn’t see any local people being hired.”

Prickett expressed his concern to Philip LaRoche of Charleston, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, who was on the county council agenda to provide a census update.

LaRoche said the process for hiring census workers is strictly “recruit, test and hire.” Noting that Calhoun County is covered by the Columbia office, he said, “I won’t challenge the test scores for the people” who tested from Calhoun County.

A representative from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce, who was on hand to monitor LaRoche, said her office is the one that looks into complaints and asks the questions that raise awareness. She suggested trying the “very helpful” hot-line link at www.oig.doc.gov.

“I don’t know if there are specific complaints, but people have been inquiring about the process,” Prickett said.

After the session, Prickett noted he didn’t realize no locals had been hired until the training started in space the county had provided. Some local residents did apply and take the test, he said, although no figures were available.

Asked if special skills were required, Prickett said some computer literacy would be necessary, since canvassers carry handheld computers.

Elaine Golden, the county’s 911 coordinator, said the unidentified woman her office contacted about the census “wasn’t very cooperative and was not polite to people who contacted her about positions.” And, there were “confusing stories” given about why local people were not hired, she said.

“I hope we get more cooperation,” said Golden, who also complained the county hasn’t even been notified that address canvassers for the census have already started working in the county. “There’s been a lack of cooperation with the census, so far … When do we meet the supervisor of the address representatives out there now?”

LaRoche, who Golden acknowledged had been trying to help solve the county’s problem, said he’ll contact the Columbia office for field operations, which is different from his Charleston-based partnership and operations office.

“We do want to work with them and help them out,” Golden said.

In the end, as requested by LaRoche, council approved a partnership with the U.S. Census. It’s a “symbolic but important” step to get everyone counted, he said.

Editorial Series Part 3: Problems with U.S. Census Bureau Hiring Practices

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Problem 3: In its hiring practices, the Census Bureau discriminates against people who live in certain areas, particularly within urban municipalities.

There is an applicant for a census job whom we will call Jane. Jane lives in San Francisco and speaks English, Spanish, and French fluently. She is 30 years old, has a Ph.D. in Demography from Princeton, the ability to work 40 hours per week, a perfect score on the census test, and no criminal record. However, the Census Bureau did not hire her.

Why? Jane lives in Inner Richmond, a neighborhood that has a large Mandarin-speaking population. Her other qualifications are outweighed by the Census Bureau’s computer database by the fact that she doesn’t speak Mandarin. Even worse, even though she lives just three miles from The Mission, a neighborhood where Spanish is the predominant language, there is another applicant with a lower test score, who hasn’t even graduated from high school, who lives within the borders of The Mission and will get the job instead of Jane.

In San Francisco, a less qualified applicant who lives within a neighborhood boundary would be hired instead of someone who is much more qualified who lives a mere three miles away.. Differences of a few miles should not be factored in to the hiring process, as Census Bureau employees in rural areas are asked to commute dozens of miles to and from work.

By not hiring individuals who have the best test scores and other qualifications, the Census Bureau fails to hire the most qualified applicants; those can likely provide the most accurate decennial headcount.