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

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