2000: Let's Not Come Up Short
the Census of 1990, an estimated 8.4 million people were not counted
-- many of whom were children, minorities, and low-income individuals.
count on you? Census questionnaires will be delivered in March
2000 to about 118 million households in time for "Census Day,"
April 1. Help get everyone revved up to return their forms. Census
figures "count" in determining funding, roads, schools, and services
your community needs.
Clinton Unveils New
Steps to Ensure Full Participation
February 14, at a speech before representatives of Hispanic organizations,
Clinton announced new steps to encourage all Americans to participate
in Census 2000.
The President launched a "Census in Schools" challenge to emphasize
that census information is strictly confidential and to direct
federal agencies to step up their activities in support of the
Census. To make sure every person in America counts, the Census
Bureau is already undertaking a massive mobilization involving
hundreds of thousands of local census takers and volunteers.
The Census Bureau has built partnerships with businesses, community
groups, schools, and governments. It will also for the first
time use radio, TV and billboard advertisements to urge all
Americans to be counted.
THE "CENSUS IN SCHOOLS" CHALLENGE.
In the 1990 Census, nearly half of those not counted were children.
For that reason, the Census Bureau has developed the Census
in the Schools program. Through this initiative, the Census
Bureau has sent more than one million program kits to teachers
around the country at all levels, including adult ESL and literacy
classes. The President will announce that the White House web
page will now include a link the Census 2000 webpage to allow
teachers and others to access a Census in the Schools program
kit and other Census information. During March, Census questionnaires
will be mailed to 120 million American homes, and so teachers
are encouraged to use these materials during "Teach Census Week,"
THAT CENSUS DATA IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
To encourage participation, the President underscored that that
individual data obtained in Census 2000 will not be shared with
anyone outside of the Census Bureau for any reason. The information
will not be available, for instance, to the IRS, the INS, the
FBI or any law enforcement agency. No one in state, local or
tribal government can get the information; nor can private persons,
businesses, credit bureaus or marketing companies. Only Census
employees have access to such information, and they are subject
to strict criminal penalties for sharing data. The President
also highlighted a Census partnership with the National Baseball
Players Association that has produced a series of public service
announcements on the confidentiality message. These PSA's will
feature Ivan Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers, Barry Bonds of
the San Francisco Giants and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees.
FEDERAL AGENCIES IN SUPPORT OF CENSUS 2000.
President Clinton directed federal agencies to embark on extraordinary
efforts to support the Census. For example, the Social Security
Administration, Departments of Treasury and Veterans Affairs
and the Office of Personnel Management will post a census message
on more than 15 million envelopes containing federal payments.
The Department of the Interior is reaching out to the Native
American community. The Departments of Housing and Urban Development
and Agriculture are providing flexibility to state and local
partners to allow individuals to continue receiving benefits
if hired as temporary census enumerators, and today, the Department
of Health and Human Services is announcing that they will take
similar action for their health programs. Finally, the President
directed federal agencies to encourage their grantees and contractors
to partner with the Census Bureau to increase awareness about
Census 2000. The Census Bureau has already built unprecedented
outreach partnerships with business, community groups, schools,
and state, local and tribal governments.
Selby, a member of the Federal Communicators Network, is Supervisory
Marketing Specialist in the Marketing Services Office, U.S. Census
Bureau, in Suitland, MD. You may reach him at (301) - 457-3110