Apr10-3So what’s the big deal? You get this form in the mail. Answer some simple questions. Mail it back in. And that’s it. They don’t do a background check. Nobody runs your credit score. They don’t even care if your underwear has holes. The 2010 Census forms are out and each of us need to participate.

Here are the facts: The 2010 Census will help communities receive more than $400 billion in federal funds each year for things like:
*Join training centers
*Senior centers
*Bridges, tunnels and other public works projects
*Emergency services

But here’s what some of us fail to realize – if you don’t turn back in the form, you community could miss out on receiving funding because the number of citizens in that area won’t be accurately counted. If half of Newburg didn’t return their forms and then the community made a fuss for a job training center – what proof would the residents have to show the center be built there and not on 45th St?

This is the most simple form to fill out. 10 simple questions:
*Date of birth
*Hispanic origin
*Household relationship
*If you own or rent
That’s it. The census DOES NOT ask about the legal status of respondents or their Social Security numbers. It doesn’t ask your phone number or your place of employment. Nada. Real simple.

African-Americans have generally been known as the largest minority group in the US. But guess what? Times are changing. We are becoming a more diverse country.  If we don’t show that the African-American population is still a viable and important group, why would we expect funding to still come to existing programs/organizations instead of being shifted to other populations?

There only needs to be one form filled out per household (not per person). Fill it out during a commercial break and you’ll be done. All forms need to be mailed by this Saturday (4/17) at midnight – you can stop by the post office on your way to Thunder.

And here’s a good reason to go on and mail in your form now – the Census folks will leave you alone! If you don’t turn in your form, the Census foot patrol will be knocking on your door between April and July. (In case you’re not home the first time they visit, don’t worry, they’ll be back!). But if you just fill out that basic form and mail it in now, your life can go on and you can help your community get the needed resources.

If you lost the form (or just threw it away) you can call the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center at 1-866-872-6868. They are open 8am-9pm every day.

I mean really, some of y’all give out more information to the strange (but fine) guy/girl you meet out in the club. He knows your name, your baby’s daddy name, where you work, your address and what time you’ll be home the next day.

10 questions. Once every 10 years.  If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your community!

M.Y. April 2010

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