Local governments push census participation | AspenTimes.com

Local governments push census participation

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – With federal funds and congressional representation hanging in the balance, local governments are pushing citizens to fill out and mail in their U.S. Census forms.

An accurate count of the local populace is key to qualifying for funds, and local communities have come up short in the past, according to Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland.

Aspen, Pitkin County and Snowmass Village have all undertaken outreach programs to raise awareness about the importance of taking part in the census. On Monday, March 8, local elected officials and U.S. Census representatives will hold a televised question-and-answer session. It starts at 3:30 p.m. in the Aspen City Council chambers and will be streamed on the Internet at http://www.aspenpitkin.com as well as broadcast on CGTV Channel 11.

“Our resort communities have been severely undercounted in previous census efforts,” said Ireland in a press release. “It’s a challenge to get an accurate count here because we’re a resort with seasonal employees, second-home owners and constantly changing populations, summer and winter. If we want proper representation at the federal level and our fair share of federal funds, we have to make the effort to see to it that everyone is counted.”

Census information affects the numbers of seats the State of Colorado occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census data is used to determine how federal funds are used for local hospitals, schools, senior centers, bridges and other public works projects and emergency services, among other things.

Federal law protects the confidentiality of all census information.

During the month of March, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States. In the Aspen/Snowmass areas, census forms will not be mailed. They will be hung on doorknobs of every home with a postage-paid envelope so residents can mail them back.

More information on the 2010 Census is available online at: http://www.2010census.gov.

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