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The Census: What’s In It For You?

The 2010 Census is a huge undertaking. An effort to count every person living in the United States. People of all ages, races and ethnic groups. In cities and towns and rural areas in every state, district and territory. It is a massive effort, to be sure, with AARP just one of countless organizations helping to get it done in Maryland and across the country.

Will it have a real impact in your life? How can all this counting matter to you today?

Here’s what’s in it for you:

A job. The Census Bureau is still hiring workers to help complete the count in Baltimore City and many other Maryland jurisdictions. From direct outreach to data management, there are jobs available with the Census. Visit the Census Bureau website to apply. Contact AARP Maryland to learn more about volunteering for the census in your neighborhood.

A voice. The Census determines how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also affects the redistricting of state legislatures, county and city councils and voting districts. You will be under-represented in the halls of power if you are not counted in the Census.

A stronger community. Hundreds of billions of dollars are allocated based on census data. In your neighborhood, planners use census data to determine where to build new schools, develop public transportation and create new roads. Job training, child-care and senior center locations are determined by the census. Businesses use census data to locate retail stores, supermarkets and new housing. A complete and accurate count strengthens your community.

Census Day is April 1, 2010, and census questionnaires will be delivered or mailed to households in March. It is easy to complete, takes just a few minutes, and your information will be kept confidential.

If you don’t return a questionnaire, you may receive another one in early April or be visited by a census worker. As an official “Be Counted” site, AARP’s Maryland State Office in downtown Baltimore will also have census forms available; simply stop by the lobby to pick one up.

For more information on the Census, please visit www.census.gov.

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