A large part of achieving that goal relies on residents filling out and returning their census forms. This not only helps ensure the most accurate count possible but also saves taxpayer money by avoiding the cost of sending census workers out door-to-door to gather the census information themselves.
Darryl Lee, Census partnership coordinator for Alabama and Northern Florida, said, “We are here to promote Census 2010, do some partnership work with city and community leaders, and get people to get excited and involved in this process.
“We want to let them know that (the census) is safe, confidential for 72 years, easy – 10 questions in 10 minutes, and it is important. There is $4 trillion on the line for a 10-year period.”
The Road Tour set up at Blue Bell Station Pavilion for most of the day Wednesday. A tent was set up with large glass panels in the back showing each of the 10 questions that will appear on the census.
A television monitor and a laptop computer were also set up to provide information for anyone who stopped by. In addition, there were several free promotional items being given away such as cloth tote bags, picture frames, piggy banks, and pens and pencils.
“The two key things we’re focusing on are to fill (the census form) out and then mail it back,” Lee said. “We want need them to do both, so we can capture all this information and have it on the president’s desk by Dec. 31 of 2010. Then it goes before Congress in the spring of next year.”
Lee said the Census Bureau has had a good working relationship with the city leaders and the people involved with the local Complete Count Committee, which works to assist the Census Bureau on a local level to prepare and inform residents for the census.
This is the third stop of the road tour in Alabama, according to Lee, and after Sylacauga it will travel on to Birmingham, Selma and Atmore in the coming days.
“We’re going through three phases for the census,” Lee said. “The educational phase was the first phase and now we’re in the motivational phase. These will lead to the participation phase.”
Lee said when census forms are mailed out next week the participation phase will begin.