Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Dan Isom are urging St. Louisans who have not filled out their census forms to do so when Census workers with proper badges come to their home. With the first phase of the Census complete, Census workers will start going to door-to-door on Saturday, May 1st.
"In the mail-in portion of the census, we did better this time than last time," Mayor Slay said. "I am grateful to everyone who helped us increase our response from 64% to 67%. However, there is more hard work to be done if everyone in St. Louis is going to be counted."
The City has offered to help the Census Bureau find hard-to-count citizens by connecting the bureau with people who have strong knowledge of low-count census tracts. "We want to help the Census Bureau do its job," Slay said. "Under the law, we cannot do the count. But, we can help the Census Bureau find people."
That means the Census' door-to-door efforts are especially important. According to a recent study, in 2008 the City was allocated $3,400 per person counted in the 2000 Census. That means the City stands to lose a huge amount of money if everyone is not counted.
The Mayor and Chief Isom also discussed the importance of answering the door to Census workers. Census workers will be clearly identified by a government-issued Census badge and Census bag, and they will never ask to come into the home. Census workers will be sent to individual residences starting on May 1, 2010, and may visit a residence up to six times between May 1 and early July.
"The Mayor and I are committed to the safety of St. Louisans," said Police Chief Dan Isom. "Please ask to see a Census workers' badge before opening the door. Census workers will only ask questions that are on Census forms and have no need to enter your home. Your participation in the Census is important and required by law."
Census workers collecting data are sworn for life to keep all answers confidential. Under Federal Law Title 13, those who violate the oath face criminal penalties. If a resident is not home, the Census worker will leave a door hanger with a phone number that resident can call to schedule the Census worker's next visit.
If an individual is suspicious of a Census worker, they are encouraged to call the Census Bureau Regional Office at (800) 728-4748 to confirm their employment by the Census Bureau.