State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) will host a
community town hall meeting to inform the public about the upcoming 2010 Census. The event will be held Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Huntington Family Center, 405 Gifford St. in Syracuse.
"An accurate Census count is instrumental in deciding the level of funding available for critical public services including schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects. We need to make sure everyone in Central New York is counted in 2010 to ensure the region receives the federal aid to which it is entitled." said Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro-Tempore of the Senate.
At the town hall, representatives from the U.S. Census will familiarize attendees with the Census form and answer questions. In addition, Census personnel will inform the audience about employment opportunities for part-time census takers in the community.
The town hall meeting is part of the New York State Senate's Complete Count initiative, co-chaired by Senator Valesky, to aid in ensuring all New Yorkers are counted.
For every New Yorker counted in the 2000 census, the federal government spent nearly $2,000 per year, providing the state with over $38.2 billion in federal program funding based on population numbers from census data. But only about 6 out of ten New York residents statewide returned a census questionnaire in the 2000 census, below the national average. As a result, an estimated quarter million New Yorkers were not counted, and the state lost hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest census questionnaires in history and takes about 10 minutes to complete. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.
The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
How the Census works
Every 10 years, a nationwide census is conducted to count every person in the United States. In March, a short, simple questionnaire will be mailed to every address.
The forms may be returned by mail or dropped off at a number of locations.
The Census Bureau will mail a second form to households that do not return the initial questionnaire. Census workers will visit residences that have not returned a census form.
For more information about the Census Town Hall, call Senator Valesky's office at 478-8745 or visit www.valesky.nysenate.gov.