The 2010 census is so important to the city of Quincy that Jack McLean, city manager, formed a census committee among department heads last Thursday.
"This is critical to the city. We have to make sure people are counted. I feel one of the reasons that Quincy has not gotten its fair share of state and federal funds is that people were not counted properly in 2000," he said.
The committee, made up of Charles Hayes, Ann Sherman and McLean, will come up with a plan to involve citizens in the process as quickly as possible. While the 2010 census questionnaires will not be delivered to individual households until mid-March, McLean said he wants the campaign begin making citizens aware of the importance of being counted no later than September 2009.
"Whatever reasons people had for not wanting to be counted in 2000, we have to address those issues early on. Our plan is to use every avenue we have at our disposal to get the word out. That means we'll partner with our churches, civic and social organizations, schools and employers," McLean said.
The 2010 census officials are encouraging cities to form "complete count committee" to make sure local residents are kept informed before the census information is circulated. The committee should involve every aspect of the local community which includes government, education, and media, s well as faith and community-based organizations.
"That's important because during the last census they counted us as having less than 6,000 residents. That can't be true because we have more than 4,000 residential utility customers and I'm certain that there are more than two people in most households," McLean said.
In the next few months, the committee will release a timetable suggested by the National Census Bureau that has been tailored for Quincy.