FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 1999
Decennial Media Relations Team
Census 2000 Countdown Begins
From the cavernous streets of New York City to the
sunny hillsides of
California, America's states, cities and towns are taking
part this week
in a groundswell of grassroots events to mark the beginning of
"Countdown to Census 2000."
Census 2000, the 22nd national census of the United States, is scheduled
to take place on April 1, 2000, one year from Thursday. Scores of
events at all levels of state and local government are stressing the
importance of a complete and accurate census and encouraging people to
participate. These range from public rallies, to the installation of
"Complete Count Committees" and open houses at newly opened local census
offices, to activities sponsored by organizations that have already
pledged their support for Census 2000. Complete Count Committees are
made up of community, business and civic leaders who promote census
awareness at the local level.
On Thursday, an estimated 500 people in Chicago are expected to turn out
to highlight the start of a third wave of block canvassing the final
stage in a precensus operation to list all the nation's residential
addresses. The event at the Winter Garden Room of the Harold Washington
Library will feature the Chicago Housing Authority's children's choir.
Also in Chicago, at State and Madison streets, point zero of the city's
address-numbering system, city volunteers will distribute to pedestrians
census piggy-banks, with the slogan, "Census 2000 Means Money in the
Bank for the City of Chicago."
Several cities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin plan to launch bunches
of multicolored balloons with the message, "A Year Away to Census Day."
Drill teams and marching bands will give the census events a festive air
in several cities. In Cincinnati, Ohio, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus
is slated to entertain at the inauguration of that city's complete count
committee. And in New York City, the City Council will issue a
proclamation on the steps of City Hall, stating that it will partner
with the Census Bureau to promote census participation.
The Native American Complete Count Committee for Oklahoma, hosted by the
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, will hold a Census 2000 rally in Shawnee on
Mayor Dennis Archer of Detroit will visit a local census office in East
Detroit, where a rally will be held by the city's multi-racial coalition
and New Detroit Inc., which is trying to revitalize Detroit's east side.
One of the Census Bureau's national partners, the Mexican American Legal
Defense Fund (MALDEF), is sponsoring 14 Census 2000 Kickoff events at
various cities around the country on March 30 and April 1. Those events
focus on persuading the Hispanic population, which was undercounted by 5
percent in 1990, to take part in Census 2000.
The main MALDEF event in Los Angeles includes an appearance and remarks
by Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt. Prewitt also is scheduled to
attend a public hearing in Sacramento on April 1, convened by U.S.
Rep.Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., to emphasize the effects of
the 1990 undercount on California's communities.
In early 2000, the Census Bureau will deliver questionnaires to about
120 million housing units in the 50 states and the District of Columbia
and to another 1.5 million in Puerto Rico and the outlying islands. It
expects to receive back by mail about 79 million questionnaires.
To reach the rest, the Census Bureau plans to hire and train more than
600,000 people, who will attempt to make contact with nonrespondents
through personal visits or telephone calls. Census 2000 also is the
first census in which households that receive the short form may respond
via the Internet as long as they can provide the form's control code.