Governor Ed Rendell is launching a major outreach effort aimed at making sure every Pennsylvania resident is counted in this year’s census.
Experts are predicting Pennsylvania will lose a Congressional seat once this year’s Census results are finalized. That’s not because the commonwealth lost population, but due to other states growing at a faster rate.
Governor Rendell doesn’t accept that analysis, and predicts the Congressional delegation will stay the same, as long as every resident is properly counted.
He’s launching an ad campaign and outreach effort aimed at driving up Census participation.
Rendell says people need to realize the Census isn’t invasive.
"There is no chance that someone after you fill out that form is going to knock on your door or subpoena you for jury duty. It does not mean immigration agents will show up at your door. And no one will come looking for you for unpaid parking tickets if you fill out our form."
Rendell has put together a Census advisory board to steer outreach efforts.
It’s co-chaired by former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris...
"And we do have a goal. And that is for Pennsylvania to have the most complete and accurate count of any state for the 2010 census. Not this is a bold goal – but not for the championship state of Pennsylvania."
Rendell says the federal government distributes 400 billion dollars each year, based on Census results, so an under-count could hurt the state down the line. Census forms will be mailed out in March, and need to be returned in April.