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For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mario Lopez
(301) 457-5085

Undercount Summit Report Cites Recommendations to Encourage Census 2000 Participation in Hard-to-Count Neighborhoods and Populations

The Congressionally appointed members of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board today announced the public release of a Report to Congress detailing the recommendations made by a broad range of census stakeholders from across the nation to encourage participation in Census 2000 in hard-to-count neighborhoods and populations.

“This report provides a summary of the comments and recommendations made by 18 representatives of local and state government, community organizations, labor and social service organizations at an Undercount Summit sponsored by the Congressional members of the Board in Washington late last year,” said Board Co-Chairman J. Kenneth Blackwell.  The report also contains similar observations made by the participants at the Hispanic Federation Forum held by the Presidential members of the Board held in New York City.  The Congressional members also participated in that Forum.

Blackwell said the report identified barriers to counting hard-to-count neighborhoods and populations, and offered several recommendations made by the Summit participants, which they said will encourage participation in this year’s census.  Recommendations mentioned most frequently included:
  • Allowing a waiver or income exemption for persons receiving government assistance, including TANF and food stamps, to allow them to be hired as temporary census employees without jeopardizing their benefits.

  • Ensuring that bilingual and culturally sensitive people are hired in linguistically isolated neighborhoods.

  • Utilizing local residents as “facilitators” to assist Census enumerators in hard-to-count areas.

  • Ensuring that Spanish speaking neighborhoods receive notices in Spanish, letting them know that Spanish questionnaires are available.
The report has also been provided to each of the nation’s Governors, their Census Liaisons and the Secretaries of State with a letter from Blackwell outlining steps the states can take to allow certain income waivers for persons receiving public assistance to work as temporary census employees.

The report, “The Concerns of the Hard-to-Count Communities,” is available in English and Spanish on the U.S. Census Monitoring Board Congressional Members’ web page: