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Metropolitan Washington Strives for ‘Complete Count’ in 2010 United States Census

U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Arlington Board Member Walter Tejada at COG's Census 2010 Complete Count Kickoff. 

Elected officials from the U.S. Congress and local governments joined representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau at the Council of Governments to raise awareness about the upcoming 2010 Census and encourage all residents of the metropolitan Washington region to participate in the count.  They reminded area residents that the Census guides key policy decisions, impacts their representation in Congress, and influences billions of dollars in government services and investments in transportation improvements, hospitals and schools.

In the coming year, COG and area governments will help with Census outreach throughout the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia in a variety of ways such as encouraging employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaires, distributing educational materials, and participating in outreach meetings like today’s event. 

“The District of Columbia and the whole metropolitan region have an extraordinary growth rate,” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) told the audience of government officials, citizens and members of the media.  “We have so much at stake for [the 2010 Census].”

Officials stressed the need to count people of all ages, races, ethnic groups—both citizens and non-citizens.  They pointed out that there are segments of the population that either distrust the government or do not know about the Census. 

“We need a combined, united effort to reach hard-to-count people,” said Walter Tejada, an Arlington County Board Member.  He said that while new outreach on the internet is important, Census officials, government workers and volunteers must also commit to grassroots, community efforts to reach people that don’t get information online. 

The District of Columbia, like many urban communities, has been prone to undercounts in the past.  Through partnership with the U.S. Census and strong community engagement, the District had a more complete count in 2000 and hopes to have an even more accurate count in 2010.

COG is the association of 21 local governments working together for a better metropolitan region.

www.mwcog.org

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Release Date: Apr 30, 2009
Contact: Steven Kania
Phone: 202-962-3249


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