Counting on us


Census Day is April 1, 2010 – no fooling. In preparation, a new census office was opened with much fanfare on Jan. 20 in Burbank.Located at 2727 W. Alameda Ave., the opening ceremony included many distinguished speakers, including Greg Krikorian of the Glendale Unified School District and a blessing by the Armenian Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. After the ceremonies, attendees were invited on a tour of the new facility that will service the Burbank and foothill communities in the census effort.

America has held a census only 1790 when federal marshals traveled door to door recording each head of household and the number in the family. In 1902, the Census Bureau became a federal agency and a census has been held every decade ever since.

It is much easier today than it was in 1790 to conduct the census. Going door to door for 3.9 million people was tough, but doable. By the 2007 American Community Survey, the nation had jumped to 301,621,159 people. That’s a lot more time and effort knocking on each door. So for this year’s census, a mailer is being sent out. It is one of the shortest surveys to date. Being only 10 questions, it takes roughly 10 minutes to complete.

It doesn’t take long, but representatives insist that the information makes a big difference. Just because Census Day falls on April 1 – April Fool’s Day – that doesn’t mean fooling around on the forms is OK. This data will be used to determine House representation, overall population for studies, and will help divide up the over $400 billion a year that the federal government gives out to state, local, and tribal governments based on their census population count and data.