OK, so 2010 seems pretty far off and the census doesn’t really compare to the Olympics as far as the excitement factor, but try to pay attention anyway 🙂

Every 10 years we count heads. Head counting is important for a lot of reasons, but Broward County officials would like to remind you that a lot of federal funding decisions are based on census numbers. Essentially federal and state government uses the census to determine fun things like total population of an area (which also determines your representation in government), and demographics like age, gender, and race. It’s one of the ways they decide things like which areas need more social services funding assistance, who needs more public transportation and who needs to build more schools or senior day cares.

Just in case you were thinking of not participating, here are a few things you need to know:

* Census Day is April 1, 2010. Plenty of time to find a pencil.

* It’s easy peasy…the short questionnaire will be sent to all addresses in Broward County and you just pop it back in the mail when you are done. Here in Broward County special teams will be reaching out to populations that are often missed – the homeless, those in transitional housing or group facilities, shut ins etc. Cooperative Feeding is serving on the committee, so be sure to let us know if you are worried about being missed.

* Census data is protected for 72 years. What does that mean for you? No authority or organization, including Immigration, the IRS or the President of the United States, is going to know how you answered your census form and come looking for you. Unless of course you don’t return your census form. Then the Census Bureau will actually come looking for you. Oh, the irony.

* Census data really does impact the level of services our county can offer. This is a way to be sure that you and your loved ones are counted and that services are in place should you ever need them.

* The census is uber-American. It is mandated under the U.S. Constitution and there is nothing more American than that!