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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


Sense of Us

April 1, 2010 10:46 AM

The Census Bureau is sponsoring a little friendly competition between communities across America to see which city has the highest participation rates. As of yesterday, the leading city was Bismarck, North Dakota, where 68% of those who had received their census form had sent it back in (you can see who's in the top 50 by visiting http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/). It's humiliating enough when the Badgers lose to North Dakota in hockey - do we really need to give them bragging rights on this too?

Let's aim to be in the top 50 cities in America for participation.

It matters beyond just the grudge match with Bismarck because for every person missed, our community misses out on about $1,000 in federal aid over the next decade for all kinds of programs. That means less of our tax dollars coming back to us to help people in need or to fix roads or buy busses or do any of the other things that come from our Federal taxes. It also means that we could have less representation in congress or that our legislative and local government districts might be skewed. But it also means that a less accurate picture of our community and our nation will be presented and we'll understand who we are just little less. The census, after all, gives us a sense of who we are as a people. It's like the family snapshot taken once a decade.

So, today's the day we all stand up and get counted. If you haven't filled out and sent in your 2010 Census form, please do it now. And if you haven't received a form, if you've misplaced it or if you just need some help filling it out or know someone who does, visit our website at www.cityofmadison.com/census2010 for a full list of locations throughout the city where Census staff can help.



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