Leaders urged to boost Phila. census participation

    The last time Census numbers were gathered in Philadelphia, only a litte more than half of city residents turned in their census forms.

    Politicians, and community and faith leaders joined U-S Commerce and Census officials at the National Constitution Center in Center City Philadelphia on Tuesday. Earlier this month Philadelphia kicked-off a campaign to raise awareness and boost participation. The last time Census numbers were gathered, only a litte more than half of city residents turned in their census forms.

    People fail to fill out Census forms for a variety of reasons.

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke tried to educate people who don’t know why it’s important.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091124lfcensus.mp3]

    Locke: “The Census data is important. It will allocate some $400 billion dollars every year in federal funds. If you care about your communities, if you wanna make sure that your schools have enough funds, if you want programs for senior citizens in your communities, if you want to make sure there’s housing for the people in your communities, and if you want safe streets, you have to fill out the Census form.”

    Locke also tried to reassure people who fail to fill out Census forms because they are afraid and misinformed. He stressed that it’s illegal for the Census Bureau to share personal information with any other government agency including the F-B-I, the local police force, Homeland Security, and Immigration.

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