April 1 is Census Day. The short, 10-question forms – which will show up in your mailbox this March – must be postmarked and mailed by the April 1 deadline. Residents who fail to respond can expect a call or visit from a census-taker, so mail in your forms today.
Your participation is not only required by law, it’s vital to our community’s future. The results of the national population tally decide the allocation of more than $400 billion in federal funds each year – money Brooklyn depends on for schools, hospitals, roadways, fire and police stations and more. Without doing your part by filling out the census forms, our infrastructure would suffer, and critical funding for health care, day care and job-training could dry up.
What’s more, census data are used to determine government representation. An accurate headcount ensures that your needs and interests are on Albany’s – and Washington’s – radar, and Brooklyn gets the aid and attention it deserves. And with the new, shorter questionnaires, participating couldn’t be easier. Ten minutes’ time promises 10 years of reward.
Despite the myriad benefits, however, there remain those worried their responses could be used against them. But they needn’t fear: The Census Bureau maintains the strictest of privacy policies. Federal law (Title 13, U.S. Code) prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing personal information with anyone, be it the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or any other government agency.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, there’s no excuse not to participate. Fill out your form and send it in today. For more information on the 2010 Census, call my office at (718) 257-5824 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.