Census Workers Promote Awareness

FRESNO, Calif. "We try to dispel a lot of fear, give them the right information, It's easy it's safe and it's important," said Census Partner Specialist Richard Flores.

The group works with cities, schools, churches and other organizations to help get the word out.

They're at the Mexican consulate in Fresno every day, answering questions, handing out flyers and little trinkets Flores believes will help spread the message. "The best way for people to remember the census is to have something in their possession-- whether it's a coffee cup, a refrigerator magnet; we give footballs to the kids-- it says Census 2010 on it. They play around with it, a constant reminder that the census is coming."

For people who get their mail at a post office box, the census may already be here. That's because census takers are already visiting those who don't get their mail at home.

"A person will come to their home and do a very short interview and leave a questionnaire for them to fill out and return later," said Joel Alonzo, Census manager for the north Fresno office.

The census form is simpler, with only ten questions this year.

Alonzo: "They've actually reduced the amount of questions and the complexity of the questions because of the previous censuses and the fact that we received a lot of feedback from the community as to the questions themselves.

Flores and his team have been preparing communities for the "big count" for the past year. He hopes those monthly visits will soon pay off.

"I tell people you are going to be so sick of me by the time census comes... You're going to want to fill it out and send it back and you won't see us for another 10 years."

Local census offices need to hire about a thousand more people in the next several weeks.

If you're interested call the Census Jobs Hotline @ 1-866-861-2010.

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