US Census director, Dr. Robert Groves, sought to assuage fears about the census when he brought the census road tour to Minneapolis on Thursday at the invitation of US congressman Keith Ellison.
“If you are not counted, you are cheating this area of its representation” he told a crowd squeezed into the Midtown Global Market, referring to the information gathered during the census that allocates US congressional seats. He said the census data collected directly affects how over $400 billion of federal funding is distributed.
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He told those present that they can directly affect the federal deficit by sending back the forms to avoid the government sending in enumerators to physically households as it is cheaper to mail the forms back than sending workers. He also assured that the law mandates that all information collected remains confidential.
Warming up the crowd before the director spoke, Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak reminded some of the immigrants present that it is important to get counted to avoid an undercount sating “we will know how many Somalis we have in Minneapolis.”
“Everybody matters and everybody counts,” said Congressman Ellison.
Census forms will arrive at households via mail by mid-March and must be mailed back by April 1.