From: Census2000 <Census2000(a)ccmc.org>
House Fully Funds Remaining Census 2000 Operations,
But Some Overseers Concerned About Rush to Completion
Plus: House Rejects Effort to Slash Funding for Non-Decennial Programs;
Sampling Critics Skeptical of Proposed Commerce Dept. Rule;
New Jersey Legislature Stops Work on Anti-Sampling Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Monday to a
bill that funds Census 2000 operations for the fiscal year beginning
October 1. The House passed the $37.4 billion Commerce, Justice, and
State, The Judiciary and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R.
4690) by a vote of 214-195 after rejecting an amendment during debate
last week that would have reduced funding for non-decennial programs by
$40 million. The non-decennial activities include the American
Community Survey (ACS), which the Census Bureau is developing as a
possible alternative to the traditional census long form.
The House-passed version of H.R. 4690 allocates $392.9 million for
Census 2000 operations, which include closing down local census offices
and data processing centers, analyzing results of the Accuracy and
Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) survey, and releasing population numbers
for congressional apportionment and political line-drawing. The
allocation, essentially the amount requested by the Clinton
Administration, also includes $3.5 million for the eight-member Census
Funding for all non-decennial programs was set at $275 million, $51
million below the Administration's request. The bill allocates $20
million for the ACS, $5 million below the requested amount. An
amendment offered on the House floor last Friday by Rep. Howard Coble
(R-NC) would have further reduced funding for activities in the broad
Periodic Censuses and Surveys account, with the exception of Census
2000, by $40 million. The Coble amendment sought to increase funding
for the Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) after
the appropriations committee cut that agency's budget during its mark-up
on June 14. Rep. Coble chairs the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on
Courts and Intellectual Property.
According to the Census Bureau, the proposed $40 million funding
decrease would "curtail" development of the ACS, "shut down the Economic
Censuses and Census of Governments," and "cripple the mapping and
address listing program that supports all Bureau surveys." The
reduction also would force the elimination of 500 positions, the Bureau
said, "greatly disrupting the entire Census Bureau including the
decennial census" and jeopardizing its ability to transmit redistricting
data to the states by the March 31, 2001 legal deadline.
The amendment generated significant debate from both Republicans and
Democrats. Many legislators who spoke during the debate expressed
frustration over being forced to choose between adequate funding to
ensure timely processing of patent applications and the Census Bureau's
ability to produce reliable demographic and economic data. Reps. Harold
Rogers (R-KY) and Jose Serrano (D-NY), chairman and ranking minority
member, respectively, of the Commerce appropriations subcommittee,
opposed the amendment, as did House Census Subcommittee Chairman Dan
Miller (R-FL) and the oversight panel's senior Democrat, Rep. Carolyn
Maloney (D-NY). The amendment was defeated by a vote of 145-222, with
67 representatives not voting.
Congressional oversight of Census 2000 operations continues: The House
Subcommittee on the Census continued its oversight of Census 2000
operations at a June 22 hearing in Washington, D.C. Census Bureau
Director Kenneth Prewitt told panel members that census takers had
completed more than 99 percent of the nonresponse follow-up workload,
putting the Bureau on track to finish the second major phase of Census
2000 well ahead of the scheduled July 7th completion date. He cited the
Bureau's success in overcoming "obstacles and potential problems,"
including hiring and retaining enough temporary workers, meeting payroll
obligations on time, completing early counting operations on schedule,
exceeding the projected mail response rate, accurately scanning and
processing over 120 million questionnaires, and providing assistance to
the public at walk-in centers, by telephone, and through foreign
The director described special counting efforts that he said contributed
to successful follow-up visits to unresponsive homes in historically
'hard-to-enumerate' neighborhoods. Based on data from the 1990 census
as well as observations of field staff, the Bureau identified census
tracts where Be Counted forms, Questionnaire Assistance Centers, team or
blitz numeration, and other "special enumeration tools" might help
Dr. Prewitt concluded his remarks by calling Census 2000 "the most open
and transparent census in history; every detail has been and is being
scrutinized. We welcome that scrutiny because we believe it will dispel
any notion that there is or could be any political manipulation of the
final results." He pointed to the Bureau's release of its report on the
feasibility of issuing statistically corrected census data, as an
example of the "spirit of openness." After receiving that report, the
Commerce Department published a proposed rule in the June 20 Federal
Register that would delegate final authority to the Census Bureau
director over the decision on whether to release the adjusted census
data next spring.
Subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller commended census enumerators "for their
hard work and civic duty in helping to count America," but he expressed
concern about the early completion of visits to unresponsive households.
Referring to the director's earlier references to Census 2000 as "the
good census," the chairman said, "[I]t may prove to be the Rushed
Census." He cited "numerous" calls to his office from census employees
"express[ing] a felling of tremendous pressure to finish ahead of
schedule." "Unless the undercount has been eliminated, why are people
pulling out of the field before July 7?" he asked.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney applauded the Bureau's progress in finishing
nonresponse follow-up, commending the Bureau's staff and a cooperative
public for "a truly amazing result." She also thanked Chairman Miller
for helping to secure full funding for Census 2000 operations over the
past year. Dr. Prewitt countered the chairman's criticism of the fast
pace of follow-up operations by saying it would cost more money, but not
improve the accuracy of the count, to keep knocking on the doors of
households that still refused to cooperate after six attempts to collect
information from the residents. Rep. Maloney said evaluations of the
1990 census showed that 70 percent of the people missed lived in
households that were counted (known as "within household misses").
Sampling controversy renewed over proposed Commerce Department rule: At
the June 22 hearing, Chairman Miller also strongly criticized the
proposed rule delegating authority over the adjustment decision to the
Bureau director. He called the idea a "ridiculous proposal" that
"doesn't make the decision to release manipulated numbers any more
palatable or less political." The congressman said the proposed rule
was made public right before Commerce Secretary William Daley announced
he would leave his post to head up Vice President Albert Gore's
presidential campaign. Noting that the Bureau director is a political
appointee, Rep. Miller questioned Dr. Prewitt about political
contributions the director might have made to Democratic candidates.
Dr. Prewitt said he had not made contributions to any political
candidates since his appointment as census director. The chairman
suggested that the Bureau seek an independent, external review of the
adjusted census numbers before deciding whether to release them.
Referring to the proposed committee of senior Census Bureau staff that
would advise the director on the adjustment decision, the chairman said,
"This is not public scrutiny - it's a whitewash."
Rep. Maloney said she strongly supports the proposed delegation rule and
noted that the director is the only political appointee among the
Bureau's 6,000 permanent employees. "I believe the Secretary has wisely
decided to try and take the politics out of this decision by leaving it
up to the professionals at the Census Bureau," she said. Rep. Maloney
pointed out that former Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher decided not
to statistically adjust the 1990 census counts, despite a recommendation
to do so from then-Census Bureau Director Barbara Bryant, before
resigning from his position to join President George Bush's reelection
Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), a subcommittee member, said the proposed rule
would give the public the mistaken impression that the Census Bureau
director is less political than the Secretary of Commerce. "We're all
politicians here," the congressman said. Dr. Prewitt expressed
frustration that the proposed delegation of authority had sparked
renewed partisan controversy. "Nothing is more dangerous than to
suggest that national numbers are subject to political manipulation,"
the director told panel members. He suggested that members of Congress
were concerned about how census data will be used, while the Census
Bureau is only interested in how to collect the data. The latter, Dr.
Prewitt said, is determined without regard to politics or partisanship.
State legislative activities update: The New Jersey Senate committee
abruptly postponed a hearing on a bill to bar the use of statistically
corrected census numbers for congressional and state legislative
redistricting, delaying further action on the measure indefinitely. The
state Assembly, voting along party lines, approved the bill (A. 1682) on
June 5. The Senate State Government Committee had scheduled a hearing
to review the bill on June 22. Local newspapers reported that Governor
Christine Todd Whitman (R) asked Republican legislators to postpone
further action on the bill until federal courts could review a similar
measure enacted in Virginia earlier in the year. The New Jersey Star
Ledger quoted Gov. Whitman's spokesperson as saying, "We've asked the
Senate to hold off on this bill until there is a clear road map from the
federal courts. It doesn't make sense to go forward with all the trial
and tribulation and argument until we know what's going to happen in
[the Virginia] case."
Virginia is one of sixteen states required under the federal Voting
Rights Act to obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Justice for
any changes to election law. The state is pursuing an alternative
"pre-clearance" process by asking a three-judge panel of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia to approve the new law
prohibiting the use of adjusted numbers for redistricting purposes.
Last week, ten Democratic state legislators opposed to the anti-sampling
law sought to intervene in the case, saying use of unadjusted census
data for redistricting would violate the Voting Rights Act by failing to
account for racial minorities likely to be missed by the census. In
addition, the Justice Department asked the federal court to put off a
decision in the Virginia case until the Census Bureau releases detailed
population counts to the states beginning next February or March.
Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be
directed to Terri Ann Lowenthal at 202/484-2270 or, by e-mail at
terriann2k(a)aol.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. For copies of previous
News Alerts and other information, use our web site www.census2000.org
<http://www.census2000.org>. Please direct all requests to receive News
Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to the Census 2000
Initiative at Census2000(a)ccmc.org <mailto:Census2000@ccmc.org> or
202/326-8700. Please feel free to circulate this information to
colleagues and other interested individuals.
We have added a list of agencies that have completed TAZ Verification to our
website. To access this list please visit:
The list is current as on June 23, 2000.
If you have any questions, please call Nanda Srinivasan at 202-366-5021.
*Thanks* to all those that completed their verification!
Here's a very interesting "Sunday supplement" Census 2000 story from
the 6/18/00 Philadelphia Inquirer.
Census takers encounter the scary - and the weird
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
By Thomas Ginsberg
Knock on one stranger's door and perhaps get a cordial greeting.
Knock on 42 million doors, as U.S. census workers have done this
summer, and bank on being berated, embraced, bitten, doused and
A census taker in Detroit walked into a police drug raid - and kept
counting. A census taker crashed through the floorboards of a rural
Texas porch but got her interview while waiting for an ambulance.
Census takers have used snowshoes to comb the Rockies and
helicopters to descend into the Grand Canyon.
Last weekend, one census taker was mauled to death by dogs in
Scary and funny, tragic and heroic, the stories of the nation's
nearly half-million census takers are now piling up in the
homestretch of the 2000 Census. Three weeks are left before the end
of the operation's most labor-intensive phase in which the
enumerators, as census takers are officially known, have gone
door-to-door to query people who failed to return the questionnaires
Enumerators have had run-ins with the happy, sad and naked among us.
Their encounters have served as a kind of mini-census, revealing a
quirky blend of distrust and openness around the country, amid a
U.S. government mobilization bigger in numbers than the invasion of
"In rural West Virginia, some of the folks come out with shotguns,"
said Julia Ho, a regional spokeswoman. "Enumerators really have to
depend on their wits."
Sixteen census workers have died on the job. But enumerators also
have saved lives. Along the way they have crashed into wild turkeys,
set off prison alarms, rescued people from elevators, counted at
least one self-described space traveler, and confronted dogs. A lot
On June 10, Dorothy Stewart, a 71-year-old enumerator, was fatally
attacked by a pack of dogs in front of a house in Nashville, Ind.
She became the first census taker to die this year while at a
Six other census workers - not all enumerators - have died in car
accidents, and nine died of heart attacks or strokes. Many census
takers have been injured or attacked. It's not yet clear whether the
fatality rate is higher than in years past.
"We have sent out the strongest signal we can that our first concern
is safety," said Kenneth Prewitt, the Census Bureau director.
Dog bites are the primary injury every decade, and the Census Bureau
has recorded at least 200 this year.
Last month in Southern California, enumerator Kenneth P. Kasoni
approached a house with a large, barking canine in the yard. He
left, then returned with a dog bone on a day that happened to be the
beast's birthday, said a regional spokeswoman, Lynn Uyeda.
So impressed was the owner that he happily answered all the
questions, and the Census Bureau reimbursed Kasoni $2.15 for one
"five-inch dog bone."
Census officials acknowledge that public antagonism and distrust
have made the door-to-door work more dicey. These are, after all,
just temporary workers who earn between $9.25 and $18 an hour,
depending on the area.
Take the enumerator in rural Texas, Socorro Meza, who had a
resistant resident on her route. Meza said she visited the house
three times and saw a person peek from behind curtains but never open
On her fourth attempt, Meza took an unlucky step and crashed through
the porch floor, bruising herself badly. While a neighbor helped
lift Meza out, the resident arrived home, apologized profusely, and
promptly answered Meza's questions - while the enumerator waited for
"I've been to your home four times to attempt an interview," Meza
recalled telling the resident, "and now I'm going to get it from
In Kansas, regional officials said one resister chased away a census
taker by drenching him and his papers with a garden hose.
The enumerator returned wearing a rain slicker and brandishing an
umbrella. The bemused resident gave up and answered his questions.
One reason given for not answering the questionnaire already is
becoming legend among census workers. In Salt Lake City, an
enumerator knocked on a door and dutifully asked the man who answered
how many people lived there on April 1, the official census date.
"The guy says, 'I wasn't here, I was on another planet,' " recalled
Anjali Olgeirson, a Denver regional spokeswoman. "So the enumerator
says, 'Well, we still need to record you here at this address.' And
Getting to the front door is half the battle. In Wyoming and upstate
New York this spring, census takers not only had to use snowshoes,
they had to learn just the right kind of shoe for the snow
conditions, said Donna Gindes, a regional spokeswoman in Boston.
In Arizona, counting the Havasupai tribe meant getting to the bottom
of the Grand Canyon first. Census workers rode a helicopter down,
but then the chopper couldn't retrieve them. So they hiked and rode
horses back up, carrying their census papers the whole way, said
Olgeirson, a Denver spokeswoman.
"The mail doesn't work so well there," she said.
People answering their doors in the nude is so common that
enumerators almost yawn at the question. There were women dressed
only in socks and one naked man holding a dog leash. It is almost
summer, after all, and it takes more than nudity to ruffle an
"We had one lady answering in the nude, she just stood there, didn't
bat an eye," said the Detroit spokeswoman. "Well, what's an
enumerator to do? He counted her."
Enumerators have had their brushes with the law. In Detroit
recently, a female enumerator was invited to a barbecue being thrown
by a bunch of men and found herself the center of attention.
Suddenly, police arrived next door and conducted what turned out to
be a drug raid, causing the men around her to run for cover.
"She just stood there, she wasn't fazed," Ho said. "She took care of
her work and left."
In Wyoming, enumerator Ed Clark got his own taste of modern justice.
In March he was assigned to arrange the counting of inmates at a new
prison in Rawlins. After driving through a snowstorm, he said he
arrived to find an empty guard house. He walked past - and suddenly
was berated by a voice over a loudspeaker: "Who goes there?"
"I don't know that I actually broke in, but it sure seemed that
way," Clark said. After dropping off census forms, Clark got yelled
at again. "They said, 'Close the damn door!' "
Some enumerators go way beyond the call of duty. Laura Iman, 29, a
crew leader from northern Louisiana, was nine months pregnant when
her 10 enumerators began their work in May. Between contractions,
with an epidural drug softening her pain, she made phone calls to
check on their work, and the next day, welcomed them into her room -
not to count her first baby, Koby, but so she could sign their
"They told me I was crazy, that I didn't have to do this," Iman
said. "But I'm not the type of person to slow down anyway."
In rural Virginia, a crew leader noticed a man slumped at the wheel
of his car and stopped, called 911, then waited for the ambulance to
arrive and save the driver from what turned out to be a heart
attack, said Jerry Stahl, a regional spokesman.
Last month in Toledo, Ohio, enumerator Phillip Cunningham was making
his rounds in a residential neighborhood when he noticed a girl
running between parked cars into the street as a car approached,
recalled a regional official, Lynne Hebner.
"A bunch of neighbors were gabbing on a front porch and weren't
paying attention," Hebner said. "He yelled at her to stop and
literally saved her life by inches. The car slammed on its brakes and
just missed her."
Who said the census is just about numbers?
"The neighbors were thrilled with this man," Hebner said. "He was in
the the right place at the right time."
Chuck Purvis, AICP
Senior Transportation Planner/Analyst, Planning Section
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA 94607-4700
(510) 464-7731 (voice) (510) 464-7848 (fax)
MTC DataMart: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/datamart/
MTC FTP Site: ftp://ftp.abag.ca.gov/pub/mtc/planning/
The Census Bureau, Geography division has noticed that a few participants
have submitted new equivalency files, even though they had no/very few changes
to the TAZ layer in TIGER. Please note that:
1. If you have no changes to the TAZ layer, you only need to e-mail Valerie
Murdock (vmurdock(a)geo.census.gov) and Carrie Saunders
(csaunders(a)geo.census.gov) at the Census Bureau informing them that you have
2. If only a few TAZs (eg: fewer than 20 TAZs) need changes, you can submit
sketch maps with supporting documentation to your regional Census Bureau
liason. For a list of Census Bureau regional office contacts, please see the
attached pdf file.
3. If a substantial number (eg: more than 20 TAZs) need changes, you will
need to upload the new equivalency file through the Census Bureau website at:
If you submitted an equivalency file, but have fewer than 20 TAZs than need
changes, please call Carrie Saunders at 301-457-1099 (e:mail
If you have any questions, please call me at (202) 366-5021
The deadline for TAZ verification was June 15 for agencies in the thirty
states listed below. If you are a participating agency and have not yet
responded, we will assume that you have no changes to the TAZ layer in the
TIGER database. If you have any questions/clarifications, please contact
Nanda Srinivasan by replying to this e-mail or by calling 202-366-5021.
7. District of Columbia
17. New Hampshire
18. New Mexico
19. New York
20. North Carolina
23. Rhode Island
24. South Carolina
29. West Virginia
Proposed Rule Would Delegate Adjustment Decision
To Census Bureau Director
Plus: Census Director Proclaims 2000 "The Good Census";
House Committee Allocates FY01 Funds for Census Bureau;
Telephone Assistance Extended Through June
The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a proposed rule that would
give the Census Bureau Director sole authority to decide whether to
release statistically corrected census numbers for purposes other than
congressional apportionment. Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt,
with two former census directors at his side, announced the action at a
June 14th press conference in Washington, DC.
Under the proposed rule, the census director would make "the final
determination" on adjusting the census figures. The decision "shall not
be subject to review, reconsideration, or reversal by the Secretary of
Commerce." The notice of the proposed action, published in the Federal
Register, discusses the justification for the delegation of authority.
The decision, the notice says, "turns entirely on operational and
methodological implementation within the expertise of the Bureau of the
Census." Review by the Commerce Secretary would "create the appearance"
that "non-scientific considerations" played a role in the adjustment
decision, according to the background statement. The transfer of
authority would "safeguard both the substance and public credibility of
the decision making process."
The proposed rule would create a committee of "distinguished senior
career [Census Bureau] professionals" to review the operational and
technical aspects of the procedures for measuring census accuracy and
correcting under- and overcounts in the first set of population
numbers. The Executive Steering Committee for A.C.E. Policy (ESCAP)
will then issue a written report recommending whether the director
should release statistically adjusted data. The Census Act requires the
Bureau to transmit block-level population data to the states by April 1,
2001, for use in the redistricting process. The rule sets forth the
twelve members of the steering committee by position; the ESCAP report
would be made public at the same time it is sent to the director.
"A.C.E." is the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation program, which includes
a quality-check survey of 314,000 households.
At the press conference, former Census Bureau directors Barbara Bryant
and Martha ("Marty") Riche said they support delegating the adjustment
decision to the Bureau chief. Dr. Bryant, who led the agency during the
1990 census for the Bush Administration, noted that significant reform
of the census process began in 1991. Despite the move to paid
advertising and efforts to simplify the questionnaires, it is "not
possible to count everybody" without the use of sampling, she said. Dr.
Riche, appointed by President Clinton to head the Bureau in 1994, said
partnerships with community groups and local officials were a key
improvement for Census 2000. Still, she said, a household-based census
is "simply bound to fall short."
On Monday, Dr. Prewitt sent former Commerce Secretary William Daley a
report prepared by the Bureau's senior staff on the feasibility of using
statistical methods to account for people missed or counted twice in
Census 2000. The report, entitled "Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation:
Statement on the Feasibility of Using Statistical Methods to Improve the
Accuracy of Census 2000," sets forth the rationale for the "preliminary
determination" that the Bureau can produce statistically corrected
census numbers within the legal time frame and that the corrected data
"will be more accurate." In his June 13th response adopting the report's
conclusions, Secretary Daley said, "We owe it to the American people to
use all of the tools at our disposal to make the census as accurate as
possible." The choice, he said, is whether to use statistical methods
to improve census accuracy, or "whether we do nothing." The
differential undercount of racial minorities cannot be eliminated
without using these methods, the Secretary concluded.
The rule making document also notes that in 1980, the Commerce Secretary
formally delegated a similar decision on whether to use sampling methods
to correct the census undercount to the Census Bureau director. That
delegation of authority was rescinded before the 1990 census, when
controversy over an adjustment led to a lawsuit by the City of New York
and dozens of other localities. In 1991, Commerce Secretary Robert
Mosbacher decided not to adjust the 1990 census counts, despite a
recommendation to do so by census director Barbara Bryant.
The rule (in current or modified form) will take effect after a 45-day
public comment period. Comments should be sent to: John H. Thompson,
Associate Director for Decennial Census, Bureau of the Census, Suitland
Federal Center, Suitland and Silver Hill Roads, Building 2, Room 3586,
Suitland, MD 20233. The proposed rule, the Census Bureau's feasibility
statement, and other relevant documents are available on the Bureau's
Web site at <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/presskit.html>.
Census operations update: The Census Bureau has completed 98 percent of
its door-to-door visits to unresponsive households, Dr. Prewitt
announced at the June 14 press conference. The Denver census region,
covering ten states, as well as Puerto Rico, have reached the 100
percent completion rate, the director said. The Los Angeles census
region is on the verge of reaching that milestone, as well.
Census takers are continuing their efforts to count the remaining
908,000 households that did not respond by mail. As of June 13, the
Bureau had counted or declared vacant 99 percent of the housing units
included in the mail out/mail back and follow-up phases of Census 2000.
Census operations continued at a faster pace than in 1990. In the last
census, only 60 percent of the overall workload was finished by June 1,
compared to 82 percent by the same date this year.
Other highlights of Dr. Prewitt's Census 2000 status report were:
* 117 million census forms had been scanned, and the
accuracy rate for scanning was the same both for forms returned by mail
and those completed by an enumerator.
* Census workers completed telephone interviews with
90,000 households in the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.)
At a June 8th press briefing, Dr. Prewitt told reporters there was "no
bad news to report" about Census 2000 operations. He characterized the
nation's 22nd decennial count as "the good census" and cited the
"enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication" of census workers as a primary
reason for the operational success. The director also said an "echo
effect" from the marketing program helped keep Census 2000 operations on
schedule and well ahead of the 1990 pace for similar activities. "We
underestimated," he said, "the lingering effect of the advertising
campaign and partnership program."
The director expanded on his characterization of Census 2000 at the June
14 press conference. A "good census," he said, meets three criteria.
It is "operationally robust and successful; open, transparent, and earns
the public trust; and dedicated to being fully inclusive."
NRFU visits are scheduled to end on July 7. Census workers have started
follow-up telephone calls (called Coverage Edit operations) to
approximately 2.2 million households that listed six or more residents
(questionnaires were designed to collect information for up to six
people, with space provided to list additional residents) or that
reported information for only some of the people listed as residents.
Clean-up operations (called Coverage Improvement Programs), which
include rechecking housing units designated as vacant or nonexistent in
earlier visits, will be conducted on a flow basis from early July into
August. During this operation, census enumerators also will visit
addresses submitted by local governments since last fall as part of the
"New Construction" phase of the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)
program. The Bureau will start in-person interviews with households in
the quality-check A.C.E. survey on June 19, in neighborhoods where NRFU
operations are complete.
Despite his upbeat assessment, Dr. Prewitt noted several problems that
he said the Bureau had moved quickly to alleviate. The Census Bureau
added enumerators, authorized overtime payments, and created narrowly
targeted Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish to help
boost response rates in the "small number" of Local Census Office areas
where completion rates are lagging. The director has visited several
cities in recent weeks, including Chicago, Baltimore, Columbus (OH), and
Milwaukee, to convey the message that, "It's not too late to be
During last week's Census 2000 briefing, the director also warned that
census workers trying to finish their workload still encounter "real
resistance," some of which he described as "organized." He displayed a
sign taped to the doors of some unresponsive households, bearing the
message, "Census Workers Are Not Welcome Here. Do Not Knock." The
printed sign provides space to list the gender and age of up to six
residents, and concludes by saying, "This is all you need to know and
are entitled to ask. Have a nice day." A logo and Web address for "The
Heartland Institute" (www.heartland.org <http://www.heartland.org>) is
printed at the bottom.
In a written statement issued on June 8, the Institute's president and
CEO, Joseph Bast, said his organization "does not advise anyone to
violate the law," but that the questions asked in the census "[go] far
beyond any reasonable interpretation of the 'Enumeration' authorized by
the Constitution." The statement described the Institute as an
"independent, nonprofit research organization" in Chicago that
addresses issues such as school reform, environmental regulation, and
tax policy. Mr. Bast said "many political leaders, including Texas Gov.
George W. Bush, Sen. Chuck Hagel, and Rep. Tom Coburn have stated
publicly that people should not answer Census questions they believe
invade their privacy." The poster, which Mr. Bast said appeared on the
back of the Institute's monthly newspaper sent to 45,000 people, also
bears a small-print "warning" about penalties for not answering census
Telephone help lines to remain open longer: The Census Bureau has
decided to keep its toll-free telephone assistance lines (TQA) open
until June 30, about three weeks past the original shut-down date of
June 8. TQA operators will continue to accept census responses over the
phone in the six languages in which questionnaires are printed (English,
Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese) from people who did
not mail back a form and have not been visited by a census taker, or
people who believe they were left off the questionnaire completed for
People who provide their answers over the telephone might still receive
a visit from a census enumerator, if the address is included on the list
for nonresponse follow-up. The Census Bureau will rely on local
governments and complete count committees in areas where response is
lagging to promote the continued availability of the telephone response
Census Bureau funding for fiscal year 2001: On June 14, the House
Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year 2001 Commerce,
Justice, and State, The Judiciary and Related Agencies funding bill.
The panel allocated a total of $670,867,000 for Census Bureau programs,
about $48.3 million less than the Administration had requested. The
Census Bureau is an agency of the Commerce Department.
Aside from Census 2000, Census Bureau programs did not receive requested
funding increases over current year levels. The committee allocated
$392.9 million for the decennial census, just shy of the
Administration's request. In fiscal year 2001 (FY01), which begins
October 1, 2000, the Census Bureau must finish 2000 census operations,
including the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation program to measure and
adjust for undercounts and overcounts in the initial set of population
numbers. It also must shut down local census offices and data
processing centers, and begin tabulating and publishing data collected
in the census.
The bill specifies how decennial census funds should be spent, listing
nine broad categories such as field data collection, marketing, data
processing, and testing and evaluation. The Census 2000 appropriation
includes $3.5 million for the eight-member Census Monitoring Board.
The panel allocated $20 million to continue development of the American
Community Survey (ACS), the same amount appropriated for the current
year and $5 million below the President's request. The ACS would
collect demographic and socio-economic data from a rolling sample of
households throughout the decade, with 3 million housing units surveyed
each year. The survey is designed to replace the traditional census
'long form' in 2010 and beyond. The Census Bureau is testing the ACS in
31 sites around the country.
Funding for the decennial census and the ACS is part of the Periodic
Censuses and Programs ("Periodics") account, one of two main funding
categories for the Census Bureau. The Periodics account covers
activities that support census operations, such as mapping, as well as
other mandated censuses of business establishments and local
governments. The House committee allocated a total of $530,867,000 for
the Periodics account, about $14.5 million below the request. The
Census Bureau's second main funding category is Salaries and Expenses
("S&E), which covers ongoing surveys (such as the Current Population
Survey) to collect important demographic, economic, and social
statistics. The committee allocated $140 million for the S&E account,
the same amount appropriated in fiscal year 2000 and $33.8 million below
the Administration's request.
The full House may take up the Commerce spending bill before the July
4th recess starts on June 30. The bill is one of thirteen regular
appropriations bills that fund activities of the federal government.
Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be
directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at 202/484-2270 or, by e-mail at
terriann2k(a)aol.com. For copies of previous News Alerts and other
information, use our web site www.census2000.org
<http://www.census2000.org>. Please direct all requests to receive News
Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to the Census 2000
Initiative at Census2000(a)ccmc.org or 202/326-8700. Please feel free to
circulate this information to colleagues and other interested
The correct website for uploading TAZ equivalence files is:
The "Reminders and Frequently Asked Questions" on the CTPP Website has an
incorrect website. I will update the website as soon as I can.
I apologize for not noting the error.
I will also put the list of agencies who have responded or completed
verification on the CTPP website by June 24, 2000 and update it periodically.
What is the schedule for releasing the final CTPP 2000?
From: Srinivasan, Nanda <FHWA> [mailto:Nanda.Srinivasan@fhwa.dot.gov]
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2000 4:35 AM
Subject: [CTPP] Attention: TAZ Verification Participants
The last batch of TAZ verification materials have been mailed to agencies in
the states listed below. If you are a participating agency in one of the
states listed below and DO NOT receive your materials by June 12, 2000,
please call Nanda Srinivasan at (202) 366-5021. (Email: ctpp(a)fhwa.dot.gov).
The deadline for submittals to the Census Bureau for counties in these
is July 14, 2000.
By June 12, all participating agencies should have TAZ Verification
for all the counties they submitted TAZ files in Fall 99. If you are
TIGER/Line for any county, please let me know by calling 202-366-5021 or by
replying to this e-mail.
The Census Bureau, Geography Division noticed that some of the participants
have been posting files to a wrong ftp site. We created a specific ftp site
for the TAZ Verification program. This website is:
If you have already posted your equivalence files to another website, please
reload your files to the correct website.
Please note that if you post your file to any other Census Bureau website, we
wont be able to access the file or have a record for your submission.
The following section documents the Census Bureau guidelines (page 10 of the
Census Bureau TAZ Verification guidelines) for your reference.
V. Instructions for Submitting Verification Changes
If the TAZ boundaries displayed in the Verification TIGER/Line file
are accurate and require corrections to few TAZs (less than 20 as a
participants do not have to submit a new polygon equivalency file. In these
cases, the participant can choose to submit a sketch map showing corrections.
Using 20 as a guideline, evaluate how many TAZs require correction. If
corrections are required for many TAZs (more than 20 as a guideline), the
Census Bureau request that changes be submitted in a polygon equivalency
file. This file will be just like the original TAZ submittal; it must include
record for each polygon in the TIGER/Line file and must be a comma
delimited, ASCII text file.
Participants are required to inform the Census Bureau (via e-mail) if
no changes are required to their TAZ plan, if verification maps are
being sent to the RCC, or if an equivalency file(s) will be sent to the
Census Bureau. Please include the following staff on your notification e-mail
Valerie Murdock: vmurdock(a)geo.census.gov
Carrie Saunders: csaunders(a)geo.census.gov
Jamie Rosenson: jrosenson(a)geo.census.gov
Nanda Srinivasan: Nanda.Srinivasan(a)fhwa.dot.gov
TAZ contact at the responsible RCC (See TAZ RCC contact information
for e-mail address)
A. To submit a TAZ polygon equivalency file to the Census Bureau
log on to: http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/taz/sendfile
B. At the Send a File Utility page, type in your e-mail address as
C. Enter the required information under Contact Information:
* Your name
* Telephone number
* Agency name
* Your e-mail address
D. All TAZ verification files will be automatically directed to the
following Census Bureau directory. The name of the directory
E. Identify the files you want to transmit to the Census Bureau, by
clicking on the Browse button. Navigate to the directory wherethe files are
stored and select the name of the files(s) so they
appear in the File to Send boxes. You will have the ability to
transmit up to six polygon equivalency files at one time.
The Census 2000 TAZ polygon equivalency file name must be
shown with *tgr* as the prefix followed by the 5 digit state and
county codes, ending with the extension *.tav*. For example,
*tgr17031.tav*. Please note, the file name is case-sensitive.
F. After you have entered the file name(s), click on the Upload
button to transmit your files to the Census Bureau.
You will receive confirmation by e-mail that the file transfer was
successful. If you have difficulty transmitting files or do not
receive a confirmation e-mail, please contact Valerie Murdock or
Carrie Saunders on (301) 457-1099.
Does anyone know the schedule for releasing CTPP 2000?
From: ed christopher [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 10:41 PM
To: ctpp-news maillist
Cc: carole zok; brenda.brown(a)bts.gov
Subject: [CTPP] census 2000 News Alert
From: Census2000 <Census2000(a)ccmc.org>
Sampling Controversy Resurfaces in Congress As Census Director Stands By
Plan to Adjust Counts
Plus: New Jersey Assembly Approves Anti-Sampling Bill;
Legislation Introduced for Count of Overseas Americans; and more.
The controversy over the use of statistical sampling to adjust the
initial census counts reemerged at a congressional hearing last month,
as the Census Bureau began its quality check survey to measure
undercounts and overcounts in Census 2000.
At a hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Census on May 19, Census
Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt described the agency's plans for the
Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation survey (A.C.E.) of 314,000 housing
units nationwide. Telephone interviews with households in the A.C.E.
sample that had returned a completed census form by mail began in late
April. By May 19, the Bureau had completed 60,000 interviews by phone,
more than its projected 10 percent completion rate for that point in the
process. Census takers will start in-person interviews with A.C.E.
households on June 19 in areas where census takers have finished all
non-response follow-up visits.
Subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL) reiterated his long-standing
opposition to the Census Bureau's plan to produce adjusted population
numbers based on the A.C.E. results for purposes other than
congressional apportionment. "[T]here is no guarantee that this plan is
even viable," the chairman said. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in
January 1999 that federal law prohibits sampling to compile the state
population totals used to allocate the 435 seats in the U.S. House of
Representatives among the 50 states. However, the Census Bureau plans
to transmit adjusted census figures to the states early next year for
use in the redistricting process. A provision of the Bureau's fiscal
year 1998 funding bill also requires the agency to make available census
counts down to the block level that are not adjusted based on the
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the panel's senior Democratic member, said
the 2000 census "may well be the best, fairest and most accurate census
ever," not only because of operational successes so far but because "it
incorporates modern scientific methods into its design." The 1990
census, she noted, had a 10 percent error rate, including who are
missed, counted twice, or counted in the wrong location. "The closer
the Census Bureau has gotten to developing a way to fix those errors,
the harder the opponents of a modern census have worked to stop them,"
Rep. Maloney said, referring to the disproportionate undercount of
racial minorities and the poor in urban and rural communities.
Rep. Miller said Republicans question the constitutionality, legality,
and feasibility of a census plan that incorporates sampling and
statistical estimation techniques. He called the decision to issue two
sets of census counts "a political move, clearly against the best
interest of the Nation" by the Clinton/Gore Administration. Pointing to
last year's Supreme Court decision, he cautioned that supporters of the
plan "have yet to win a court case." "Census estimation," the chairman
said, "is not a system that lends itself to trust and integrity."
Rep. Miller described statistical estimation as existing "only in a
virtual world," where people are added to or subtracted from the counts
without verification. This means, he said, that some people who have
filled out and returned a census form "will be counted as less than a
whole person." Rep. Miller also criticized an element of the Bureau's
statistical methodology that he said assumes people of the same race or
ethnicity "act alike and have the same tendencies," by assigning them to
one of nearly 450 demographic groupings (called 'post-strata') for the
purpose of measuring the under- and overcount. The chairman asked the
director for "assurances... that [the adjusted] numbers will be fully
scrutinized by the Bureau and the scientific community, at large, prior
to their release for public use."
Countering the chairman's criticism of the sampling methodology, Dr.
Prewitt said the A.C.E. survey was no more difficult than other large
Census 2000 operations. He called the census "an estimation of the
truth" and said its accuracy should be measured by how close the results
are to the nation's true population. The director noted that census
data are "unstable" for very small areas (such as census blocks)
regardless of whether the figures are adjusted using statistical methods
or not. Adjusted census numbers are "unquestionably" more accurate at
the block level, Dr. Prewitt said in response to a question from Rep.
Miller, than numbers produced from direct counting methods alone. He
also defended the use of demographic 'post-strata' to estimate under-
and overcounts, saying the groupings were based on scientific knowledge
about people with similar probabilities of being missed or
double-counted in the census. A panel of experts convened by the
National Academy of Sciences (the Panel to Review the 2000 Census,
chaired by former Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Janet L.
Norwood) is independently reviewing the A.C.E. statistical methods and
Dr. Prewitt emphasized that while the Bureau has decided to conduct the
A.C.E. according to a technically sound design, it cannot determine in
advance whether the direct count or the statistically adjusted numbers
are more accurate. "If the Census Bureau does not have confidence in
the A.C.E. results, we will not use it," the director told subcommittee
members. The Census Bureau director, not the Secretary of Commerce, he
said, should make the adjustment decision.
The director also vigorously challenged the assertion that statistical
estimation could invite tampering with the numbers to achieve partisan
advantage. He said the Census Bureau is "not competent" to design and
implement an estimation plan that produces a partisan outcome. "Where
is the evidence?" he asked, that the Bureau has a partisan agenda. Dr.
Prewitt said it is "inconceivable" that the Census Bureau would know how
statistical adjustments would affect the drawing of political district
lines by 50 state legislatures.
Other legislative news: Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation to
provide funds for the Census Bureau to begin planning a census of
American citizens living abroad in 2003. H.R. 4568 would authorize $5
million for planning a Census of Americans Abroad. Rep. Maloney
introduced a bill (H.R. 3649) last year to require an interim count of
Americans overseas in 2003 and planning to include this population in
the 2010 census. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sponsored a similar
bill (S. 1715) in 1999, which was referred to the Senate Committee on
Census 2000 will include active members of the U.S. armed forces,
civilian government employees, and their dependents, who are stationed
or living overseas on Census Day (April 1, 2000), in the state
population totals transmitted to the President for the purpose of
congressional apportionment. These personnel and their family members
are counted at their 'home of record,' the state in which they lived at
the start of the their military or federal service.
In a letter to Reps. Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Jose Serrano (D-NY),
chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and The
Judiciary, Rep. Maloney said the estimated three to six million American
citizens living abroad "make enormous contributions to our economy" and
"vote, pay taxes, and enjoy the same constitutional protections" as
other Americans. She urged the subcommittee to include funds for
planning an interim count in the Census Bureau's fiscal year 2001
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) introduced a bill last month (H.R. 4458) that
would limit the questions asked in future censuses to those included on
the Census 2000 short form. The measure was referred to the House
Committee on Government Reform.
Update on Census 2000 operations: The Census Bureau announced last week
that it has counted, either by mail or through a personal visit, about
92 percent of the nation's 118 million housing units. Director Ken
Prewitt said gathering information from the remaining eight percent of
American households posed the greatest challenge for the approximately
450,000 census enumerators working to complete 'nonresponse follow-up'
operations by July 7.
State legislative activities update: The New Jersey State Assembly
yesterday approved a bill to require the use of unadjusted census
numbers for redistricting purposes. The measure passed the
Republican-controlled chamber on a party line vote of 42-34. On May 22,
the State Government Committee approved A. 1682, sponsored by
Assemblyman Michael Carroll (R), by a 3 - 2 vote along party lines.
Assembly Speaker Jack Collins (R) initially scheduled a vote on the
measure for May 25, but agreed to postpone action temporarily after
Minority Leader Joseph Dorio Jr. (D) said legislators and the public
needed more time to consider the bill's consequences. Last week,
however, the Speaker announced that the Assembly would take up the bill
on June 5. The State Senate has not yet considered the measure.
Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be
directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at 202/484-2270 or, by e-mail at
<terriann2k(a)aol.com>. For copies of previous News Alerts and other
information, use our web site www.census2000.org. Please direct all
requests to receive News Alerts, and all changes in
address/phone/fax/e-mail, to the Census 2000 Initiative at
<Census2000(a)ccmc.org> or 202/326-8700. Please feel free to circulate
this information to colleagues and other interested individuals.