Posted March 22, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

Elected Officials Join Mayor in Promoting Census Participation

PHILADELPHIA— On March 20, Mayor Michael A. Nutter and other Philadelphia elected officials brought the message about the importance of participating in Census 2010 to the city’s neighborhood barber shops and beauty salons.
Every 10 years, as required by the United States Constitution, the country undertakes a Census – a complete count of all residents of the United States. Population totals influence everything from congressional representation and redistricting decisions to funding for schools, hospitals, LIHEAP and neighborhood revitalization projects in Philadelphia.
“There’s no better place to have a real conversation, neighbor to neighbor, about the value of being counted in the Census than in our barber shops and beauty salons,” said Mayor Nutter who got his own hair trimmed during his first stop at Woody’s Barbershop (Bryn Mawr and  Lebanon Aves.) at 9:15 am.  He was joined by Councilman Curtis Jones and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.

Additional stops included:

9:40 am – 10:20 am     Mayor Nutter, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Councilman Jones
Original Styles Barbershop (1255 N. 52nd Street), Hermion’s Beauty Boutique (1249 N. 52nd St.), Hair Image (679 N. 52nd St.).

10:35 am – 11:10 am   Mayor Nutter, State Senator Anthony Williams
Mal’s Unisex Salon (5355 Woodland Avenue)

11:30 am – 12:10 pm   Mayor Nutter, Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, State Rep Curtis Thomas
Radio show at Centro Musical (464 West Lehigh Ave.), Glamour Dora Spa (2712 N. 5th St.), Gloria’s “Unisex Salon” (2233 N. Front St.), Styles on Second (1444 N. 2nd Street)

12:15 pm – 12:40 pm  Mayor Nutter
Ernie’s Upper Cuts (2502 W. Lehigh Ave.), Hair Connection (2838 N. 22nd Street)

12:40 pm – 1:15 pm     Mayor Nutter, State Rep. Jewell Williams, State Rep. Curtis Thomas
Mecca Unisex Salon (1428 Cecil B Moore Ave.), Hands on U-2 (1729 Cecil B. Moore Avenue)

About Philly Counts 2010
“Philly Counts!” is a citywide campaign to raise awareness about the 2010 federal Census and encourage all Philadelphia residents to be counted. A network of diverse leaders representing many constituencies and neighborhoods has come together to help spread the word about why participating in the Census is so important to Philadelphia. The campaign is coordinating with the US Census Bureau Regional Office in planning, promoting, and implementing its action plan to obtain a complete and accurate count of the City of Philadelphia’s resident population.  More information can be found at:

Check out pictures of Mayor Nutter’s Barbershop tour!

Advertisements Faith leaders: Be counted

Posted March 15, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

By Tom MacDonald


A major push is underway to get Philadelphians to fill out their census forms. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports the effort began Sunday with messages from the pulpit.

Faith leaders started spreading the word on Sunday through their sermons that people need to fill out their census forms, and city officials are going to do all they can to make sure people follow through and mail the forms in. The reason as Mayor Michael Nutter explains is federal funding is determined by census data.



Patricia Enright is Executive Director of Philly Counts. She says a grassroots effort will go right into neighborhood hubs of activity.



Enright says neighborhoods were English isn’t the first language is where they run into problems because people don’t understand census data is completely confidential.

The census count begins April 1, 2010.

We’ll be visiting barbershops and beauty salons throughout the city places where people gather where they talk to friends on a regular basis.We’re trying to keep everyone as focused on this as this as possible because this is what it’s all about it’s about money, it’s about resources it’s about support for this community here in Philadelphia.

The Examiner: 2010 Census, praises sung in Philadelphia’s pulpits

Posted March 15, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized to find hundreds of places around the city where forms are available.

By Gloria Blakely


The national census comes every ten years. Clergy will praise the benefits of participating in the 2010 census from pulpits across Philadelphia this weekend. It has become increasingly clear that federal, state, and local governments want Americans to stand up and be counted. They have found some ingenious ways to get that message across. Mayor Nutter, City Council members, and community leaders will join clergy in promoting this year’s census. Census Sermon Weekend kicked off on Friday and will continue through Sunday, March 14.

Participating houses of worship include members of the Catholic Archdiocese, AME churches, African-American Baptist churches, the Muslim community, Caribbean community churches, Hindu temples, Vietnamese Buddhist temples, Ukrainian Orthodox churches, the Russian-Jewish community, and Hispanic Protestant, and Catholic churches along with Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian Orthodox churches.

The importance of the census will resound in every corner of the city because an accurate census count determines the area’s level of representation in legislative bodies and yields more than $2800 per person/per year. Full legislative representation not only improves the area’s political clout, but millions of people mean millions in federal funding that could improve neighborhoods, schools, and more. “The most significant civic duty and moral responsibility facing the citizens of Philadelphia,” states Bishop Audrey Bronson, president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and the Vicinity, “is to participate in the 2010 Census.”

She adds, “If we aren’t counted, we won’t count when critical decisions are made regarding federal revenues needed for maintaining viable schools and essential public services required for the quality of life that we work so hard for.”

Census forms with return envelopes should reach every home in America by mid-March. Each form contains 10 questions that can be completed by one person in each household. Officials say it should take 10 minutes to complete. If the form does not arrive by March 17, Philadelphians are urged to call 311 or go to

“We understand that the census will shape our city’s landscape for the coming decade,” explains Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr., president of Esperanza. “We cannot afford to allow our communities to be underrepresented politically, or lacking in funding and resources to meet their most basic needs.”

‘Preacher’ Nutter cites census value

Posted March 15, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5985

Mayor Nutter found himself acting as a “preacher without a license” yesterday, meeting congregants at five churches to explain the importance of the 2010 census.

He topped off his day’s outreach to constituents by attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, although it’s unclear whether he waded into the census agenda there.

When the mayor addressed members of the Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, on Broad Street near Catharine, he explained how the city had received a failing grade (56 percent participation) in the 2000 Census.

The city’s Philly Counts initiative – which aims to do extensive outreach in hard-to-reach communities within Philadelphia – is working overtime to ensure that the city’s grade is closer to perfection when the results are released next year.

“This is about funding for our city,” Nutter said. “You work hard, you pay your taxes, we want to get our fair share back from the federal government. We don’t want to leave a dime on the table. That’s not being greedy.”

Nutter soon plucked on the right heartstrings when he directed congregants to pick up their Bibles and turn to Luke, chapter 2.

Joseph and a pregnant Mary went to Bethlehem to be counted in a census ordered by Augustus, according to the scripture. “Each to his own town,” said Nutter, reading from a Bible.

“People of God, this is our town,” the mayor said. “This is for our children, this is for our seniors, this is for our communities, this is for our families.”

Nutter’s pep talk reinforced the idea of filling out the 10-question form, some Tindley Temple Church members said.

“When they hear from the horse’s mouth quoting Luke, chapter 2 . . . it’s very powerful,” said Raymond DeBrest, lay leader at the church.

Philadelphia counting on census to increase federal funding

Posted March 11, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

By Michael Matza


Hot rhythms pour from a sidewalk speaker at Centro Musical, a compact-disc shop near Fifth Street and Lehigh Avenue in a heavily Latino part of North Philadelphia. Largely Puerto Rican, the enclave called El Centro de Oro, or Golden Center, has swelled in the last decade with Dominicans, Colombians, Venezuelans, and other Hispanic immigrants.

Most are in the United States legally and say so proudly. Others are not, and fear government notice. The result is a community widely thought to have been undercounted in the last federal census 10 years ago.

Absent an all-out effort to reach everyone, neighborhoods like El Centro de Oro could come up short again in the 2010 census, which commences Monday as questionnaires begin arriving by mail.

Census takers are always fighting the last war. In 2000, the mail-back response from Philadelphia was 61 percent, 11 points below the national average. In the three census tracts of El Centro de Oro, it was almost 30 points below.

In Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania, and Burlington and Gloucester Counties in New Jersey, the reply rates were about 80 percent, 8 points higher than the national average. Camden County’s was 74 percent, pulled down by a 50 percent response from the city of Camden.

In many communities, those figures are helping dictate the breadth and urgency of outreach this time around.

So while ceremonial proclamations by county commissioners and postings on township Web sites are the rule in the suburbs, in Philadelphia the $500,000 Philly Counts! campaign is putting on a full court press.

For every person not counted, the city loses about $2,800 in federal grants, said Philly Counts! executive director Patricia Enright, citing a recent Brookings Institution study of the relation between census data and federal aid.

In fiscal year 2008, Brookings found, Philadelphia received roughly $4.4 billion in federal grants based “in whole or in part on decennial census statistics” showing a population of slightly more than 1.5 million.

Chester County doesn’t rely on “big programs or big events” to promote the census, said Bob Walker, a data specialist with the county planning commission. Instead, it leaves literature at agricultural fairs and asks local churches to urge parishioners to fill out the forms.

Extra effort is going into rural parts of the county where “libertarian-oriented” residents might be “leery of government” asking questions, Walker said.

This time, the census questionnaire is a short form that does not inquire about income or housing values, he said, so the county’s mail-back response – 79 percent in 2000 – is expected to go higher.

The 10-question form, to be mailed back by April 1, is designed to count both citizens and non-citizens residing in the United States. It allows respondents to write in their nationality. It asks basic questions about household size and composition. It does not ask for Social Security numbers or immigration status. It doesn’t even require a stamp to reply.

Nonetheless, immigrants often fear it.

“A lot of people, they don’t trust it,” said Puerto Rico-born Juan Cintron, 52, waiting for a prescription at 5th Street Farmacia, across the street from Centro Musical.

“People are afraid” of being singled out or having their identity stolen, he said. “They don’t really know what [the census] is for.”

Collaborating with the city’s Commerce Department, Philly Counts! is planning drives in 62 commercial corridors, from the Hispanic enclaves of North and South Philadelphia to sections of Southwest Philadelphia populated by West African immigrants, from Chinatown in Center City to the African American neighborhoods of Germantown and West Oak Lane.

Last week, Philly Counts! field director Jeff Scott took posters, fliers, and a team of census advocates to businesses in El Centro de Oro.

They wanted merchants’ help in educating customers about the impact of the census on daily life, including the location of health clinics, supermarkets, and job-training centers, and decisions on the number of bilingual teachers to hire for the public schools.

After mail responses are tallied, the Census Bureau will send teams of “enumerators” into neighborhoods to knock on the doors of people who didn’t respond. In Philadelphia, it could require as many as 6,000 temporary workers, making $15 to $17 an hour. In Camden, which has promoted the census with “job fairs” for prospective enumerators, at least 300 may be hired, said a spokesman for Mayor Dana L. Redd.

They will obtain data through personal interviews. But invariably they will miss some people, which is why both cities want to raise the mail-back rate.

African American men are another hard-to-count group, according to a recent study by the Ford Foundation.

It identified several obstacles to their participation, as well as that of undocumented Latinos: reluctance to divulge personal information; embarassment at not knowing how to fill out the form; fear of deportation; cynicism about the census’ value in effecting social change; and fear of government’s involvement in their lives.

In a focus group of undocumented Latinos, researchers noted, “the fear connecting census participation to deportation was so prominent that [they] were even reticent to fill out the census form in a mock exercise. They perceived the form as a trap.”

While census figures are critical in determining the make-up of legislative districts and apportionment of congressional seats, those issues do not resonate strongly with the general public, the research showed.

More potent is a pitch that connects the census with the pocketbook.

“. . .It’s just not smart to leave money on the table for somebody else to take,” a test-marketed ad goes. “Filling out the census helps organizations that advocate for our community fight for our fair share of government money.”

Self interest is a powerful motivator, said Scott, of Philly Counts! “What’s in it for me?”

Support for the census voiced by trusted community members, he said, can be more persuasive than public service announcements by celebrities – although plugs have come from the likes of actress Eva Longoria-Parker and Gov. Rendell.

Cristina Gonzalez, whose grandfather founded Centro Musical in the 1960s, believes she can convince her customers – with a few powerful words – to stand up, be counted, and help change the neighborhood’s fortunes.

“We as a people can actually get together,” she says she will tell them, “and make some noise.”

Contact staff writer Michael Matza at 215-854-2541 or an interactive map that will track and regularly update mail-back response throughout the region, go to: 

Census Bureau Launches “Children Count Too” Awareness Campaign

Posted March 10, 2010 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

Census Bureau Launches “Children Count Too” Awareness Campaign Featuring Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer

The U.S. Census Bureau today launched a “Children Count Too” public awareness campaign reminding parents to include babies and young children on their 2010 Census forms. Most of the nation’s 120 million households will begin receiving census questionnaires by mail between March 15 andMarch 17.”A complete and accurate count of our nation’s youngest is critical to their health and education, and the future strength of our communities and labor force,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves at a news conference at Mary’s Center, a nonprofit maternal and child care center serving immigrant communities in Washington.

The campaign features Dora the Explorer ― the popular children’s character on Nickelodeon’s award-winning animated preschool series ― addressing the importance of counting kids in the 2010 Census. In partnership with the Census Bureau, Nickelodeon has produced television and radio public service announcements, Web buttons and fact sheets in which Dora and her friends remind families that “everybody counts on the census form, especially little kids.” All materials are available in English and Spanish.

“We’ve arrived at a crossroads in American history where it’s more important than ever for all of us to stand up and be counted,” said Samantha Maltin, senior vice president for integrated marketing and partnerships at Nickelodeon. “Dora the Explorer is an iconic bilingual character for American families of all backgrounds, and with her help, Nickelodeon will remind families how easy, important and safe it is to participate in the census.”

As part of this initiative, federal, corporate and nonprofit organizations with unique access to families and child care providers will distribute Children Count Too educational materials. Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, a world leader in infant and children’s nutrition, will use its connection with parents of newborns and online resources to communicate the importance of including children in the 2010 Census to more than 1 million families.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Food and Nutrition Services is displaying 2010 Census posters and Dora the Explorer-themed 2010 Census fact sheets in more than 3,000 Women, Infants, and Children and 4,100 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program local offices. Other key partners include the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.

Impact of undercounting children

Children have been undercounted in every census since the first one in 1790. According to a December 2009 report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children under age 5 are missed at a higher rate than any other age group. “The undercount of kids is startling, but it is not a new problem,” said William O’Hare, a demographer and consultant working for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “With combined efforts at the federal, state and local levels, we have a chance to improve on the past and make sure the youngest members of our society are fully counted.” Census data are used to determine the allocation of more than $400 billion in federal funding annually, including $26 billion for educational services and other programs focused on children. Some of these programs include:

· Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: $16.5 billion

· Title I grants for education: $12.8 billion

· Special education: $10.8 billion

· Women, Infants, and Children: $5.5 billion

· Title IV-E Foster Care: $4.7 billion

· Child Care & Development Block Grant: $5 billion

“Every child counted in the 2010 Census will help identify communities in need and bring resources to address specific vulnerabilities, whether they are in health care, child care, education, transportation and affordable housing,” said Mary’s Center President and CEO Maria Gomez. “Only through well-funded comprehensive and multiservice programs will places like Mary’s Center be able to have an impact on the nation’s health care outcomes.” Local communities rely on census information in planning for schools, child care, health and other critical services. Additionally, community-based and social service organizations use census data to determine social services requirements for families with children.


Television PSA (:30 English):

Television PSA (:30 Spanish):

Radio PSA (:15 English):

Radio PSA (:15 Spanish):

Dora Fact Sheet (English):

Dora Fact Sheet (Spanish):

Dora Web Buttons (English, Spanish):

Annie E. Casey Foundation December 2009 Report:


The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide. The 2010 Census form will be one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.


Editor’s note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau’s home page. Go to <; and click on “Releases.”


Posted December 16, 2009 by phillycounts
Categories: Uncategorized

Need even more reason to fill out your census forms next year? Try this:

The federal government’s ten largest assistance programs used Census data to distribute an estimated $478.3 billion this year, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Wednesday, December 16th.

The sum represents roughly 84 percent of total federal assistance, GAO said. Medicaid, highway construction funding and federal education grants were the top federal assistance programs.

Democratic lawmakers requested the new GAO estimate on behalf of the Census Bureau and private groups working to promote participation in the 2010 Census.

Federal assistance programs use a variety of formulas to determine funding, though many rely at least partially on Census Bureau data. The agency collects population, housing and demographic information from respondents that complete decennial census questionnaires. The Census Bureau also conducts its annual American Community Survey and compiles data for the monthly Current Population Survey, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses to determine unemployment figures.

Here’s the estimated obligations for FY ’09 for the 10 largest federal assistance programs:

Medicaid        $266.6 billion

Highway Planning and Construction        $54.1 billion

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund — Education State Grants         $39.7 billion

Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies         $24.5 billion

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B         $22.8 billion

Temporary Aid for Needy Families         $17.1 billion

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers         $16.6 billion

Community Development Block Grant         $13.3 billion

Federal Transit Formula Grants Programs         $13.0 billion

Children’s Health Insurance Program         $10.6 billion

The Census Bureau has partnered with thousands of civic and religious groups and corporations to promote participation in next year’s national headcount. (Some even use Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as part of their outreach.) Wednesday’s GAO report provides census advocates with new ammunition in their efforts to convince skeptical or scared Americans to complete census questionnaires.

In a joint statement, the Democratic lawmakers that requested the report stressed the importance of an accurate count and the aggressive census outreach efforts already underway.

“If you ignore the census form, it will have an effect on your neighborhood, your town or city, your county, and your state during the next ten years,” said Rep.  Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has long concerned herself with census issues.

“This report highlights why it is so important that we get an accurate and inclusive census count next year,” said Sen.  Tom Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the Senate subcommittee on the census.

“Without an accurate census count, some states will not get their fair share of federal dollars, which could handicap local governments and the citizens they serve for the next decade,” Carper said.