Hinchey, County Executive Fiala and Mayor Ryan Encourage Local Residents to Participate in Census

Census Helps Determine How Much Federal Funding Upstate New York Will Receive

Binghamton, N.Y. --To highlight National Census Day which is April 1st, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today joined Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala, Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan and local census officials to urge Broome county residents to respond to the Census.
"It is incumbent upon all those living in the Southern Tier to complete and return their census questionnaires to ensure that our local schools, health centers, libraries, community centers and other community initiatives receive their fair share of federal funding," Hinchey said. "Our local communities cannot afford to lose out on crucial federal funds and programs that are determined by the census. Every single resident can ensure that doesn't happen by filling out their Census form."
The information the U.S. Census Bureau collects on the U.S. population helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars in federal funding is spent each year on infrastructure and services such as hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, and emergency services, as well as bridges, roads and other public works projects.  According to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, areas most affected by Census undercounting lose about $2,913 in federal funding per uncounted person. 
“The census determines the level of federal resources that come back to our community, so it’s crucial that all our citizens participate,” said Mayor Ryan. “We can’t afford to forego our fair share of funds and programs, especially in these difficult economic times.”
“We only get one opportunity a decade to set the record straight, and this is it,” said Executive Fiala. “All of us have to make sure that we and all of our neighbors get counted. So much is riding on this Census and we all need to make sure it is the best possible snapshot of our community!”
More than 130 million addresses throughout the U.S. will receive a census form in March 2010 either by mail or in person from a census worker.  Households should complete and return their forms upon receipt.  Addresses that do not respond will be visited in person by a census worker beginning in late April through July.  With only 10 questions, the 2010 Census questionnaire takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.  Households are asked to provide key demographic information, including: whether a housing unit is rented or owned; the address of the residence; and the names, genders, ages, and races of others living in the household.  By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual's responses with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.
As with other public efforts, New York residents should be wary of fake Census scams that attempt to collect personal information. The Census Bureau has received complaints about deceptive mailings that include envelops marked “Census” and include a “census tracking code.” People should review all mailings carefully to ensure that they are indeed from the Census Bureau. Official Census Bureau documents will never ask for a full Social Security number, money or a donation, PIN codes, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. Also, the Bureau never sends requests on behalf of a political party. If residents are suspicious of a mailing, they can contact Hinchey’s office, the Census Bureau, or the Postmaster General’s office. 
Hinchey helped the House pass the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act, which prohibits non-governmental mailings from using labels that may mislead the recipient into thinking it is from the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, the bill prohibits non-governmental mailings from using phrases such as "Congressional Direct Census", "Official Documents" and "Do Not Destroy".  In addition, if the word "Census" appears on the mailing, the mailing must also include a disclaimer that it is not the U.S. Census form and must be clearly marked as being sent from a non-governmental agency.
The 2010 Census is one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of only ten questions. The Census contains questions about the number of people living at a residence and some demographic information about them.  The form only takes a few minutes to fill out.
For additional information about the Census, please call Congressman Hinchey's Binghamton district office at 607-773-2768, or visit http://2010.census.gov.


03/31/2010 - 5:02pm