Everyone should take a few minutes to answer census questions

As City Councilors, we have gladly come together around ensuring an accurate count in the US Census. From time to time, there will be issues where we have differences. Though our differences may be based on politics or policy, the US Census is not one where there is any disagreement. We all agree that full participation with the US Census is in the best interest of our city, state and country.

Everyone will soon be receiving a census questionnaire either by mail or hand delivered by US Census workers. The census is just 10 questions long and should only take a few minutes to finish. Answers are completely confidential, as it is against the law for the Census Bureau to share your responses with anyone, including law enforcement and any other federal agencies. We are asking everyone to please take the time to complete and return the questionnaire to make certain every individual and family is counted.

Why is being counted important? The census is intended to give our federal, state and municipal government an accurate population count. The information collected by the census is used by the federal government annually to allocate $400 billion in funding to states and communities. Census data is also used to determine future locations for schools, hospitals and housing developments.

There’s also a political importance to the census: The data collected will be used to determine congressional, state and local districts and go a long way to ensuring that government is responsive to the people’s needs. The amount of congressional seats each state has is decided by the population count. Massachusetts currently has 10 members in the US House of Representatives. If the state doesn’t get an accurate count of its population, it can lose a seat in Congress and drop to nine members. That means the state can literally lose a voice in Congress.

For more information, visit www.2010census.gov.

We are asking everyone to be counted. It will help every individual and the entire community.

Boston City Councilor
John Tobin
Boston City Councilor
Felix G. Arroyo
Boston City Councilor
John Connolly
Boston City Councilor
Stephen Murphy
Boston City Councilor
Ayanna Pressley

The writers all represent
Jamaica Plain.

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