Power, Jobs And Money
What Boulder City Has To Gain From Census 2010
by David A. Byerman, Chief Government Liason for
Nevada, U.S. Census Bureau
Boulder City has a long and proud tradition of going its own way. Never a community to conform to the norms, Boulder City is as opinionated and unique as any Nevada community I’ve encountered! It’s my hope that over the next few months that bold perspective will also apply to Nevada’s Census 2010 Campaign.
You see, to most Americans, the Census is a bureaucratic exercise, offering about as much excitement as filling out a tax form. The nation marks the passage of time every ten years with a monotonous civic duty. But for Nevadans in general, and Boulder City residents in particular, the Census is a remarkable opportunity. There is perhaps no state in the nation that has more to gain from this process than Nevada. By filling out your Census form, you can enhance your own quality of life right here in Boulder City.
Nevada's Census 2010 Campaign is about three things:
Power. The framers of the Constitution of the United States introduced the concept of a Census in Article 1, Section 2. Every ten years, the United States Congress is reapportioned to give each state the representation it deserves, based on population. According to multiple independent analyses, Nevada stands at the threshold of receiving a fourth Congressional seat, and by extension, a sixth Electoral Vote, as a direct result of the 2010 Census.
Jobs. In these distressed economic times, Nevada's economy will be bolstered as we conduct the Census. With one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, Nevada needs these jobs. The 2010 Census will bring over 4,800 jobs to the state during peak operations in May/June 2010. These are good paying, flexible jobs, as field enumerators start at $14.50 per hour. Already, over 1,300 people have worked to make Nevada's Census 2010 Campaign a success, strengthening our economy over the last year. For more information on Census jobs, call 866-861-2010.
Money. No matter who you are or what your interests, the Census will bring much-needed federal funding to government services you utilize here in Boulder City. A recent analysis by the Nevada State Data Center, Legislative Counsel Bureau, and State Demographer looked at all of the federal funding passed through to state and local governments, much of which is allocated on a per capita basis, based on the Census headcount. That analysis found that every man, woman, and child missed by the Census represents $917 in lost funding per person, every year for ten years: $9,170 per person over ten years. Nevadans may disagree over the size of government and what government does, but we can all agree that Nevada should receive its fair share of federal funding.
That funding goes directly to programs and services that Boulder City residents utilize on a regular basis. Fully 12.8% of that $917 is transportation funding, funding that helps subsidize popular options like the Silver Rider bus service offered by the Southern Nevada Transit Coalition. The Nevada State Veterans Home, with 180 beds, and the Senior Center of Boulder City on Arizona Street are two other noteworthy examples of facilities that directly benefit from an increased headcount in Nevada.
So What Exactly Will the Census Entail? In early March, we’ll begin sending Census workers to hand-deliver questionnaires to those people who don’t receive mail via city-style mailing addresses; this applies to folks on rural mail routes or who can only receive mail via P.O. Box. The third week of March, the vast majority of Nevadans, including Boulder City residents, will receive their questionnaires in the mail. April 1st is Census Day, the date as of which you are supposed to be counted. Some folks will receive a second reminder questionnaire in mid-April. Then, beginning in early May, we begin “Non Response Follow Up” which is what most people think of as the “real” Census: Census takers knocking on doors with clipboards. Most of us will never see a Census taker knocking on our door if we send in the questionnaire we receive in the mail. Our goal is to make this process as easy and quick as possible. The questionnaire this year is only ten questions, and should take only ten minutes to complete.
The Census is a sleeper issue, one we don't think much about, but perhaps the most important thing government will do in Nevada over the next year. Your help is essential as we seek to build a statewide campaign to promote the Census and improve response rate. This is not a monotonous bureaucratic exercise in Nevada; this is about Nevadans counting Nevadans for the sake of Nevada. For more information please e-mail me at david.a.byerman @census.gov, or follow us at www.twitter.com/nvcensus.