SUPPORTING THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

WHEREAS, the United States Bureau of the Census is developing the American Community Survey to produce more timely information about our nation's people and communities, and to focus decennial census efforts on achieving a more accurate population count; and

WHEREAS, in 1996, the United States Bureau of the Census began testing the American Community Survey in response to bi-partisan requests from Congress after the 1990 Census to respond to the problem that decennial census data has diminishing utility during the decade between decennial censuses; and

WHEREAS, the American Community Survey, as part of the 2010 Census Re-engineering effort, is an alternative method of administering the long form component of the decennial census which will result in yearly data releases instead of the current releases once every ten years; and

WHEREAS, questions on the American Community Survey are essentially the same as those on the Census 2000 long form, which were required by federal laws, regulations, or court decisions; and

WHEREAS, the Bureau of the Census will make every effort to partner with state, local and tribal governments officials to educate the nation about the census and to keep American citizens and residents informed about the survey's uses, benefits and protections; and

WHEREAS, as the American Community Survey is a component of the decennial census, respondents will be protected by the same privacy and confidentiality protections afforded to all respondents of the traditional decennial census; and

WHEREAS, through the American Community Survey the Bureau of the Census will provide data to all levels of government to empower state, local and tribal elected, appointed and career officials to track the status of the communities they serve; and

WHEREAS, the American Community Survey has demonstrated its usefulness as a decision-making tool for mayors and administrators and legislators during its testing phase with a data release that demonstrated emerging regional trends in a timely manner; and

WHEREAS, in 2004 the American Community Survey will make long form socio-economic data available to places with populations larger than 65,000, and in 2008 all levels of geography will have long form socio-economic data available; and

WHEREAS, full funding is necessary in fiscal year 2003 to launch the survey nationwide, with an adequate sample size and effective outreach to historically hard-to-reach populations,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors hereby supports the American Community Survey and the Census Bureau's 2010 Re-engineering effort, and seeks continued partnership with the Census Bureau as the 2010 Re-engineering effort develops throughout the decade; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to fully fund the American Community Survey at the level requested by the Administration for fiscal year 2003, and make a long-term commitment to fund this effort at adequate levels in future fiscal years.