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Community leaders gather to discuss 2000 census
With Census Day - April 1 - only six months away, city and county
officials and representatives of community organizations throughout
the Northwest gathered in Portland, Ore., two weeks ago for an intensive
two-day conference on Census 2000.
More than 250 delegates and Census Bureau representatives
attended the conference. The main focus of the event was to provide information
and strategies to insure a complete and accurate count in every
community throughout the states of Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Several
hundred Complete Census Committees have been formed throughout the
three states to provide advice and support to the Census Bureau to promote
participation in the census. These committees will also assist in recruiting
in their communities for the thousands of census employees who must
be hired to carry on census operations during Census 2000.
Oregon Treasurer Jim Hill addressed the delegates during the
conference. He stressed the economic impact of the census and the
importance of an accurate count in legislative redistricting and congressional
apportionment that is based on census numbers. Delegates also heard
from Alan Porter, the state of Idaho's liaison to the Census Bureau, who -
as Idaho's demographer - has been closely involved with the census
for nearly 30 years.
Michael Burns, Deputy Regional Director for the Census Bureau's
Seattle Region - which includes Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well
as Alaska and Northern California - told the delegates that community
involvement was crucial to a successful count.
"Census 2000 cannot be the Census Bureau's census," he
announced. "To be successful, it has to be Portland's census; it has to be
Seattle's census; it has to be McMinnville's census; it has to be your
"You know your communities. We do not. We need your help in
identifying areas where extra effort will be needed to get the word out on the
importance of the census to everyone in your community. We need your
help to find good people in every community who would like to work for
us during the census.
"With your help, we can be sure that your communities are
fairly counted, and fairly represented in the allocation of billions of federal
dollars for essential services," Burns concluded. "With your help, we can
have the best census in history."
A number of Complete Census Committees throughout the
Northwest have been working for as long as a year on plans to promote the
census in their communities. One of the local coordinators is Trudy Stotz of
"We're even trying to get the schools involved," she
commented. "They have a curriculum put together."
The curriculum, titled "Census in the Schools," provides teachers
with information about the census for classroom discussions, and will help
them teach students how the census is used by governments, business and
community groups to plan for the future.
The key, said Stotz, is community involvement and help.
"We especially need help in areas known as `hard to renumerate' -
in other words, hard to count - such as non-English-speaking communities.
If there's anyone out there who is bilingual, it would help us a lot."
If you have suggestions, questions, or are willing to contribute to the
census process, please call Stotz at the North Bend Community Services
Department, (425) 888-5633.
For information on census activities in the vicinity of Snoqualmie,
contact Rhonda Montgomery at (425) 888-5337. In Carnation, call city
administrator Woody Edvalson at (425) 333-4192. Persons in the Duvall
area who have questions or wish to assist should contact Kerry Kriner at