CATHEDRAL CITY – County and valley leaders met with Census workers in Cathedral City Thursday to strategize about how to promote the 2010 U.S. Census and what needs to be done to make sure communities take part and get counted.
“The numbers they get in the 2010 Census will stay with them for 10 years”, said Census worker Amalia DeaztlanIt. “It’s important we have a complete count to get the resources we need in our communities.”
By tracking the population, the Census shapes government and representation in Congress.
A lot of money is also at stake.
The Census determines how and where more than $300 billion a year in federal funding will be distributed.
Money used for things such as public health, education and transportation.
The key to getting that money is getting an accurate count.
For the 2000 Census the response rate for Riverside County was one of the lowest in the state at 65 percent.
In the Coachella Valley, Cathedral City and Coachella led the way at just 58 percent.
Palm Springs had a 49 percent response rate.
“In the last Census, we did not get the federal dollars we should have gotten based on what our population actually is”, said Palm Springs Councilman Chris Mills.
Census questionnaires will be mailed starting in February.
Census takers will go door-to-door beginning in April.