Next year is very important for Wayne Township and for our Country. The census, which occurs only every ten years, will take place in 2010 and planning already is underway.
The City of Fort Wayne has formed the “Census 2010 Complete Count Committee.” Wayne Township’s Community Liaison SuzAnne Runge is serving as a member of this Committee.
The goal of the Complete Count Committee is to encourage all Fort Wayne residents to complete and return the ten-question census form, which will be mailed in March. As a member of my staff, Ms. Runge will be focusing on getting a correct count in Wayne Township, an area that historically has been undercounted by the census.
Counting every person in Wayne Township is important because the number of persons residing in an area often determines the amount of funding our area receives for federal programs. These programs could include funding for such varied services as Housing and Urban Development projects, school lunch programs and highway construction.
Statewide the census count is important in determining the number of seats Indiana will have in the House of Representatives and in redistricting at the Federal, State and local levels.
The census count includes all U. S. residents, both citizen and non-citizens. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s responses with anyone, including other agencies such as Immigration, Internal Revenue Service, Welfare and law enforcement.
Ms. Runge stressed that the census questionnaires are completely private and confidential. “Residents should not be afraid that their census forms will be used by any agency other than the Census Bureau,” she added.
The Complete Count Committee works to assist the Census Bureau, but is not part of the Bureau. The members of the Committee are volunteers trying to inform residents of the importance of the census for Fort Wayne.
“The Census Bureau has issued a list of groups most likely to be undercounted, and many of these groups are concentrated in Wayne Township,” Ms. Runge said. These groups include minorities, children, persons living below the poverty level, immigrants, refugees and persons living in urban areas.
You will be hearing much more about the census as the time for the count grows closer. I want to thank Ms. Runge for serving on this important committee. I also want to extend my congratulations and best wishes to former Wayne Township Board member Maria Parra, who has accepted a full-time position with the Census Bureau.
I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Among the many things for which I am thankful is the opportunity I have been given to serve you as Wayne Township Trustee.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee