O'Malley Launches 2010 Census Outreach Effort - Southern Maryland Headline News

O'Malley Launches 2010 Census Outreach Effort

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (October 28, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today kicked off Maryland’s effort to count every person in Maryland during the 2010 Census. The Governor joined Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Director Tom Mesenbourg and other community and business leaders at the Randallstown Community Center in Baltimore County to officially launch the outreach campaign for the Census, which starts next spring. Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, the honorary chair of the State’s effort, offered comments by video message for the campaign, which carries the motto “Census 2010: It’s In Our Hands, Maryland.” The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the nationwide head count of U.S. residents every 10 years.

“Every Maryland household will receive its census questionnaire in early March next year. It is our duty to our country, our state, our communities and our families to be counted,” Governor O’Malley said at the launch today in Baltimore County. “Federal funding for programs affecting education, health care, highways, workforce development, housing and energy are distributed based on census population data. The success of the census and Maryland’s fair portion of these funds depends upon an accurate accounting of every Maryland resident.”

The U.S. Census Bureau will begin mailing questionnaires to households in late February through early March. Respondents will answer a 10-question census form, one of the shortest in the history of the bureau, based on their expected residency on April 1, 2010, known as Census Day. The Governor's plan puts specific emphasis on those areas of the State that the Census Bureau has deemed traditionally “Hard-to-Count.” Those are areas that, among other factors, had a low mail-back response rate in the 2000 Census.

In fiscal year 2007, Maryland received more than $5.8 billion in federal allocations for programs that rely in whole or in part on Census Bureau data derived from the decennial census and data produced by other federal agencies that are derived from Census Bureau statistics. The allocation per Maryland resident was estimated at just over $1,000 per year. A hypothetical undercount of 100,000 residents could cost Maryland taxpayers one billion in lost funding over the coming decade.

“Every single person in Baltimore County matters and it is very important that everyone is counted in the Census,” Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith said. “Participation is critical so that we can ensure that our County citizens are accurately represented in Congress and that we receive appropriate resources to maintain our local infrastructure, educate our children, improve our neighborhoods, and provide job training and much more.”

Dr. Benjamin Carson said in his video message, “The Census is not a Democrat or a Republican effort. It is an effort to count everyone.” Dr. Carson encouraged a complete count by urging residents, “for the sake of your communities, your cities and this State, please make sure that you do everything that you possibly can to be counted.”

Maryland joins the U. S. Census Bureau in affirming that the Census is important, easy and safe. Federal law protects the confidentiality of personal, household census information for a period of 72 years. Furthermore, personal census information is not shared outside of the bureau with any federal, state or local government agency.

Governor O’Malley’s Census 2010 Outreach Campaign is implemented by a partnership of the Maryland Department of Planning, the Office of the Secretary of State and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Key elements of the plan include a coordinated effort among State agencies to promote the census to employees and service recipients, a network of local committees providing outreach at the community level and the support of business and non-profit organizations reaching their customers and stakeholders.

For additional information regarding the Census and the outreach efforts in Maryland, visit the Maryland Census 2010 website at census.maryland.gov.

Source: Office of Governor Martin O'Malley

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