Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Council Member Nancy Navarro today joined members of the Latino Complete Count Committee of Montgomery, community and religious leaders, Latino business leaders and staff from the County Executive’s Office of Community Partnerships to announce their collaborative strategy to enhance participation of Latinos in the Census Count.
The results of the census will be used to describe the United States and local communities such as Montgomery County. The County will focus its efforts on counting those groups that are often underreported in the census.
“I urge everyone in the community to get involved in the process,” said Leggett. “We will use every resource available to execute a complete count in Montgomery. I trust that our hard work will pay off.”
In an effort to reach out to these residents, more than 100,000 Census fliers have been printed in six languages, and banners have been installed on several County roads. Additionally, the County will partner with community-based organizations such as CASA de Maryland and the Latino Economic Development Corporation. Using GIS technology, the County is able to identify the hardest to count Census tracks and the non-profit organizations, public facilities apartment complexes, public schools, places of worship and key employers in those areas.
The U.S. Constitution requires that a national census be conducted once every 10 years, and it is critical that everyone participate to ensure an accurate count.
Each year, the federal government allocates more than $400 billion to states and communities based, in part, on census data. Census data is used to determine locations for schools, hospitals, new housing developments, schools and other community facilities. Census data determines boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts.
Census Day is April 1, 2010. By that time, every household will have received a short questionnaire that is easy to complete and return. Questions regarding those residing in each household will include name, relationship, gender, age, race and whether the respondent owns or rents the home. Answers are confidential, as the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s response with anyone, including welfare and immigration agencies. Census takers will visit households in May that did not return a questionnaire.
By law, the Census Bureau will deliver population counts to the President for apportionment in December 2010, and redistricting data will be delivered to the states by March 2011.
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