(Aspen, CO) The City of Aspen, Pitkin County and Town of Snowmass Village have a vested interest in a more accurate count of the local population during the once-in-a-decade Census effort now underway. Every year, more than $300 billion in federal funds is awarded to states and communities for things like social services, hospitals and schools based on census data. The City of Aspen, Pitkin County and Town of Snowmass Village have all undertaken Census outreach efforts in an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of the federal survey.
The public is invited to a televised question and answer session with local elected officials and U.S. Census representatives on Monday, March 8th at 3:30 pm in Aspen City Council chambers. The session will be streamed on the internet at www.aspenpitkin.com and broadcast on CGTV Channel 11. The program will be repeated on Channel 11 during the months of March and April.
“Our resort communities have been severely undercounted in previous census efforts,” said Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland. “It’s a challenge to get an accurate count here because we’re a resort with seasonal employees, second homeowners and constantly changing populations summer and winter. If we want proper representation at the federal level and our fair share of federal funds, we have to make the effort to see to it that everyone is counted,” Ireland said.
Census information affects the numbers of seats the State of Colorado occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census data is used to determine how federal funds are used for local hospitals, schools, senior centers, bridges and other public works projects and emergency services, among other things.
During the month of March, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States. In the Aspen/Snowmass areas, census forms will not be mailed. They will be hung on doorknobs of every home with a postage-paid envelope so residents can mail them back.
Confidentiality of answers on the census is a concern for some people. Title 13 of the U.S Code reportedly protects the confidentiality of all census information. The Confidential Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act reinforce these protections, according to census officials. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone including the IRS, FBI, INS, CIA or any other government agency.
More information on the 2010 Census is available online at: www.2010census.gov.