Statement issued Wednesday:
One day before the official April 1 Census Day, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry reminded all Fort Wayne residents to return their 10-question census forms if they haven’t already done so.
As of today, Fort Wayne households had a mail participation rate of 55 percent, 5 percent above the national average.
“If you have not returned your census form yet, now is the time. If you and your family are living in Fort Wayne, you need to be counted. Everyone should be counted,” Mayor Henry said.
The Mayor also thanked the members of the City’s 2010 Census Complete Count Committee for their involvement in spreading the word about the significance of this once-a-decade headcount that determines federal funding, allots Congressional and statehouse representation and serves as a vital demographic tool.
“The census response rate is critical to our community and our ability to deliver much needed services. The data are used to help apportion $400 billion annually of federal funding,” Mayor Henry said. “Our gratitude goes to the members of the Complete Count Committee who are here today and have attended meetings since July. They have been instrumental in spreading the word about how important and safe the census is. They have helped us reach all parts of our community.”
The Complete Count Committee’s volunteer members have used outreach strategies to increase the number of people who mail back the questionnaire. The actual door-to-door work of gathering information from people who do not complete their census forms will be done by official Census employees.
Under federal law, all census responses are private and strictly confidential. The President and all federal, state and local agencies – including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Welfare and law enforcement agencies – do not have access to census responses.
People who haven’t received a form, misplaced it or have questions can call (866) 872-6868 toll free 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Spanish-language assistance is available at (866) 928-2010; TDD service is available at (866) 783-2010. Questionnaire assistance centers are also available throughout Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana.
The Fort Wayne Complete Count Committee included:
- Vanessa Lozoya, United Hispanic Americans
- Palermo Galindo, City of Fort Wayne
- Nyein Chan, Catholic Charities
- Claudia Johnson, Community Harvest Food Bank
- Diana Guzman, Aging & In-Home Services
- Tom Walls, City of Fort Wayne
- Loaine Hagerty, St. Joe Community Health Foundation
- Irene Paxia, Red Cross Multicultural Information Exchange Program
- The Rev. James Keller, New Life Lutheran Church
- Ngozi Rogers, Indiana’s NewsCenter
- SuzAnne Runge, Wayne Township Trustee’s Office
- Mollie Cripe, Allen County Housing & Homeless Task Force
- Gordon Mattoon, Associated Churches
- Tammy Sheppard and Judy Meikliejohn, Community Action of Northeast Indiana
- Mastora Bakhiet, Darfur Women’s Peace and Development Network Organization
- Jamie Martin, Vincent Village
- Mike Green, Allen County Commissioners Office
- Tony Aduro, African Immigrants Social & Economic Development Agency
- Fernando Zapari, Judith Bautista, Sandra DeLira, El Mexicano Newspaper
- Craig Martin, Fort Wayne Community Schools
- Jonathan Ray, Fort Wayne Urban League
- Mike Talbot, Allen County Extension Services
- Marlene Arenas, community volunteer
- Patti Crisp, Charis House
- Pat Turner, Continuum of Care
- Jim Graham, Wayne Township Trustee’s Office
- Chan Aung, Burmese Advocacy Center
- Kathie Green, Congressman Mark Souder’s Office
- Maribeth Callicoat, Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce
- Ocleva Williams, Neighborhood Action Center
- Frieda Current, community volunteer