“Good morning. I’m Congresswoman
“Tomorrow, Friday, April 16th is the due date for 2010 Census forms to be filled out and mailed back.
“Nationally, the return rate is 67 percent. In many communities that rate is significantly higher, but unfortunately in too many low-income and minority communities across American that figure is considerably lower.
“As I review the returns in my own district, I am already seeing a disparity in participation rates between different census tracts ranging from a high of 80 percent to a low of 41 percent.
“It has been said before, but it deserves to be said again and again, no one has anything to fear from participating in the census. In fact, deliberately sitting out will do the most harm. Every American owes it to themselves, their family, and their friends to stand up and be counted.
“I also want to remind everyone again that the official census will not ask about your immigration status. Let me repeat one last time that no one has ever been deported or targeted by immigration enforcement because he or she filled out a census form.
“In Congress, we utilize Census data to identify those communities disproportionately affected by issues such as poverty, unemployment, health care disparities and the lack of affordable housing. The more complete the Census count, the more accurate and targeted our policy solutions will be as we work to create jobs, improve education and address climate change.
“We want all communities to get their fair share of federal resources, but in order for that to happen we need to make sure that there is a fair and accurate count.
“During the past week the Census Bureau has worked with more local community partners who have relationships with the people who know their neighborhoods best. This type of effort is essential to ensuring a more inclusive, culturally and linguistically sensitive Census. But we must do more.
“As we are in the final hours of this phase of the census, I urge all Americans to send back their census forms in order to boost mail participation. Its just 10 questions, 10 minutes—we can’t move forward until you mail it back.”
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Congressional Black Caucus (202) 225-9817 (F)
(202) 226-9776 (T)
Congressional Black Caucus
(202) 225-9817 (F)