Eye Opener: Census Problems in Big Cities?
Happy Tuesday! As if the murder of a Census employee and associations with ACORN weren't enough, the Census Bureau now faces big concerns from a new study that predicts big problems for the 2010 Census in some of the nation's largest cities.
The reason? The cities lack the necessary funds to help prepare for an accurate count. Philadelphia is in worst shape, still lacking plans for a local outreach and awareness campaign that experts consider important for ensuring as accurate a count as possible.
A study released Monday by the Pew Charitable Trusts checked census preparation efforts in 11 major cities that had undercounts of residents in 2000 of up to 1.5 percent. Researchers found that only five big cities have set aside funds for census outreach -- Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Phoenix and Baltimore. The money allotted however is less than in 2000, thanks to the recession.
“Census preparation really matters,” said Thomas Ginsberg, project manager of Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative. “The outreach efforts are a cross between an election campaign and a municipal self-promotion drive, with very real ramifications that will be felt for the next 10 years.”
Making matters worse, city officials expect poor turnout next year, because of the home foreclosure crisis, nervous immigrants concerned the census will account for their citizenship status (it does not) and other reasons.
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