Saturday, March 6, 2010


Just not when it comes to voting on a public safety center.

March 5, 2010


‘We Can’t Move Forward Until You Mail it Back’

If Raleigh is to continue to grow healthy, it must stand up and be counted as part of the 2010 U.S. Census.

That was the message delivered March 1 as officials from the City of Raleigh, Wake County, the Wake County Complete Count Committee and the U.S. Census Bureau kicked-off the 2010 U.S. Census at a mid morning event at Moore Square Transit Station on Hargett Street.

Octavia Rainey, chair of Outreach for the Wake County Complete Count Committee, led the event. Other participants were Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem James West, Wake County Commissioner Lindy Brown and Bill Baiocchi, manager of the Raleigh Local Census Office.

Ms. Rainey showed car cards promoting Census participation that have been placed in the City’s CAT buses. She also introduced student-volunteers from St. Augustine ’s College and Shaw University , and southeast Raleigh ministers that were in attendance. Ms. Rainey said that, while all minority Americans tend to be under counted, the most egregiously under represented are black males ages 18 to 35.

The 10-question Census form will be mailed to American residents March 15. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wake County had a 71 percent response rate in 2000. The national average is 67 percent. Mr. Baiocchi said that every 1 percent that responds by mail saves the U.S. Treasury $90 million. That is because the Census Bureau has to hire persons to physically go to addresses that have not responded by mail.

The Census Bureau will hire 1,000 persons to conduct the non-response follow-up in Wake County , Mr. Baiocchi said. There will be 92 questionnaire assistance centers that will be staffed 15 hours each week and 18 “Be Counted” centers located throughout the county.

The Census figures will be the basis on which $487 billion in federal funds are distributed annually for essentials such as hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, transportation and public utility infrastructure and emergency services.

Reminder postcards will be sent to every American household on March 22. April 1 is National Census Day, when everyone who has yet to do so is asked to answer the 10 questions and mail the form in the postage-paid envelop provided. Any personal data that is provided is protected under federal law.

The Raleigh Local Census Office is located at 2605 Atlantic Ave. The telephone number is 866-3700. The U.S. Census website is