Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kuna, quit the crazy talk about the Census form and fill out your form

I have a bad feeling about this year’s Census. We have become such a fear-mongering society, and the Internet has only served to spread disinformation, gossip and fear about, among other things, the Census. It seems nothing in our society is safe from unfounded accusations and fervent conspiracy theories.
A group of local citizens, including myself along with Joe Luppens, Kuna City Council member Jeff Lang, Jon Lang, JoLyn Glascock, Kuna Lions Club President Skip Hoseley, local dentist JD Grant, Karlynn Laraway from the school district, Calvary Chapel of Kuna Pastor Chris Bent, Bob Kegler from the Kuna Senior Citizens Center, worked for over a year on the Kuna Census Committee, hoping to ensure that everyone in Kuna gets counted. We’ve been meeting on Saturday mornings and volunteering countless hours to do this work.
I find it personally insulting to have our efforts subsumed by ignorant crazy talk. I even know of one local business that refused to allow us to put up posters or hand out flyers. That’s not very good public relations, if you ask me.
Undercounting means less representation in government, less funding for roads, an overpass, etc., and more money spent on paying people to go knock on doors of people who didn’t fill out their Census form and mail it in.
Also, the Census records history. It will tell future generations — your grandchildren and great-grandchildren — where you lived and who was living with you.
The Census asks you 10 simple questions.
As of Tuesday, the nation was at 46 percent return rate for Census forms, Idaho was at 53 percent, Ada County at 55 percent and the city of Kuna 57 percent.
We’re doing better than average, but we still have a long ways to go.
The bottom line for me, despite the Census crazy talk out there this year, the Census information is benign, it’s highly useful for planning and it’s completely safe.
Here’s one more reason: If you fill it out and mail it in, no government agent will come knocking on your door asking you these questions. Just do it.

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