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Census 2000 and You
-How America Knows What America Needs


Census 2000 is upon us, presenting each and every resident of the United States with the opportunity to stand up and be counted – thereby demonstrating a renewed sense of civic pride and deepened commitment to our nation’s communities.

But will residents seize this opportunity to make a difference? Yes — but only with the active encouragement of state and local officials nationwide.

To ensure the success of Census 2000, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has joined forces with the U.S. Census Bureau in an unprecedented outreach campaign known as How America Knows What America Needs. This campaign challenges elected officials across the country to increase their communities’ response rates by at least 5 percentage points over their 1990 mail response rates and foster a welcoming environment for census takers. It provides governors, mayors, tribal leaders, county commissioners and other chief-elected officials with the resources to educate individuals about the census through an information kit, a dedicated Web site and a toll-free number.

The title of the campaign underscores the importance of the census to our communities. Data collected from Census 2000 will serve as the cornerstone of knowledge about our nation for the next 10 years – they will be the basis for determining political representation, distributing public funds and making business investments. Unfortunately, the national percentage of households that completed and mailed back their census forms has declined over the past three decades — from a 78 percent response rate in 1970 to 65 percent in 1990 — and projections for response to Census 2000 are even lower. That’s why the efforts of the Census Bureau and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in supporting How America Knows What America Needs are critical to the future of our communities.

In addition to our organization, the campaign has received support from other leadership organizations, including The Council of State Governments, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Secretaries of States, National Association of Counties, National Association of Towns and Townships, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Congress of American Indians, and the National League of Cities. State and local officials nationwide are joining the campaign in rapid numbers. In addition, the Census Bureau has partnered with nearly 50,000 community and business organizations to actively promote the census, and 12,000 cities, counties and tribal governments have formed complete count committees to help ensure everyone in their community is counted.

The success of Census 2000 depends on local communities and civic-minded organizations such as ours to help rally public awareness and ensure that all households participate in Census 2000. And the How America Knows What America Needs campaign is here to help. Join today.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.HAKWAN.com or call 1-877- 6HAKWAN.

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U.S. Mayor

Home Search jwelfley@usmayors.org

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