Sunday, January 31, 2010

Census 2010 - The Basics by Mary Bugeia

Goal is to count every individual living in the United States. (Not just citizens – everyone)


  • According to the constitution, a census of the population must be conducted every ten years in order to determine the apportionment of congressional seats. For Michigan this is very important because in recent decades we have been loosing representation going from 19, to 17, to the current 15. It is expected that Michigan will loose another seat, maybe two, depending on how much population we loose and other states gain. It is also used for redistricting state legislator seats, and voting districts.
  • In addition, every year, more than $300 billion in federal funds are awarded to states and communities based on the census. This = more than $3 trillion over a 10 –year period
  • Federal programs are funded on a formula for community block projects, S-chip for child heath, assistance to college students. The data helps guide local decision makers in important community planning efforts including where to build new roads (transportation), hospitals, and schools.


  • Establish partnerships with local governments, community based organizations, faith based organizations, schools, media, businesses and others - - to ensure a complete and accurate count. Beginning in 2007 – boundaries of counties, townships, and incorporated places were verified. Regional and local Centers were established.
  • The Census document of one page, two sided, has ten questions regarding name, address, number of persons in residence, ethnicity of each, age of each person.
  • Document will be mailed to every household during the month of March. People are to fill it out according to who is living in the place on April 1, and mail it back.
  • If you do not return the form… then you will be contacted by telephone, then in person.
  • It may cost $80,000,000 to follow-up for every 1% of people who do not return the form. 


  • Typical living situations, group homes, U.S Military, college students, foreign students living in the U.S., people on the move (where they live most of the time.) 
  • Special concern for Michigan is the… Snowbirds….. People living several months in another state. If you know any – urge them to wait and fill out the form at their Michigan residence.
  • Foreclosed homes – look for people who may be with relatives.


  • Official Census workers will have badges, will not ask to enter your home (unless you invite them), and will not ask for your social security number.
  • The LAW Title 13 U.S. Code. Data for the Census may not be shared with any other agency like the IRS. It is a Federal law – if anyone releases data = 5 years in prison, or $250,000 fine.
  • For genealogy purposes the data may be used after 72 years.


  • Applicants have to take a test, undergo a background check, and take an oath.



  • March 2010 – U.S. Postal Service deliver the 130 million Questionnaires to the American Public.
  • Mid March – April – collect the completed questionnaires. (Anticipating  70% return)
  • April – July follow –up of non- returns.
  • December 31, 2010 - Deliver the counts to President per the Constitution – announce total population for the United States and for the 50 states.
  • April 2011 – Deliver counts to state governors for redistricting of state legislators.

There is another survey called AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY asking more involved questions about home, mortgage, utilities, home insurance, auto ownership, employment, level of education, etc.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

action alert - don't weaken clean air act

ACTION ALERT: Stand Up Against Weakening the Clean Air Act
The Senate is expected to vote on an amendment that would weaken the Clean Air Act and block EPA action against climate change. If it passes, the amendment will put public health at risk and jeopardize long-overdue action to cut emissions from the biggest polluters.
Get more information and take action here: