By Howard Greninger
TERRE HAUTE — While U.S. Census 2010 forms are slated to hit mailboxes on March 15, some Terre Haute residents may already be getting the census forms on their doorknobs.
White plastic bags with a red-colored square containing the words “U.S. Census” are already being distributed to some areas that had at or below a 50 percent response rate during the 2000 census, said Norm Crampton, census partnership specialist.
“It is a way to try to reach as many people as we can,” Crampton said Tuesday after a Census Complete Count Committee meeting at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.
“It will not take much time to fill out. We say 10 minutes for 10 questions,” Crampton said. “It is easy, it is quick and just pop it back in the postage-paid envelope. The count this year in 2010 is the count that the City of Terre Haute will be reporting for the next 10 years when the city goes for federal funds” for highways, education, health facilities and other programs.
“We say it is $300 per person per year for each person counted. That is a lot money,” Crampton said.
Crampton said that in addition to the 2010 census, some people may get a much larger envelope asking for more details. “The American Community Survey is a continuous survey from the Census [Bureau]. That survey began in 2007, which provides much of the economic details for the census.
“Should someone get this in the mail, they should fill it out and return it, but it is not for the 2010 census count,” he said.
The committee reported that census flyers are being distributed in several company newsletters, e-mails and as part of upcoming events such as an American Cancer Society Daffodil Days fundraiser or 100 Men Who Cook at Hulman Center. Union Hospital is encouraging staff and the public to fill out census forms through internal and external Web sites, said Lorrie Heber, director of marketing and public relations for Union Hospital Health Group.
Flyers are also to be distributed to churches through Terre Haute Ministries.
“Terre Haute is extremely well-prepared for the census and credit to the mayor’s office, to Mayor Bennett and [public affairs director for the mayor] Darrel Zeck, who is chair of this committee,” Crampton said. “It is very impressive to see this large number of people talk around a table about strategies for getting the word out that Census 2010 is extremely important to Terre Haute.”
Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.