By now I am sure you have heard that the every 10 year US census is once again upon us, this time hitting us metaphorically on April 1st 2010.
In the past we have traditionally avoided this like a puppy dog who doesn’t want to have it’s leash put on. More on puppies later.
It’s not entirely our fault though. We have good reason to suspect all governmental edicts, regardless of how painless they might seem. This one, and specifically this one at this particular time in history, however, is different.
The stakes have never been higher for us as Iranians, to be counted, one for being Iranians living in the US at a time when US-Iran relations are strained. Two, for being highly productive members of the American society we call home. And three, because we simply need to know how many of us there freaking are.
To make things a bit easier to swallow, I did some research and found what I am calling the
“Top Ten Reasons for Iranians to Take the US Census”.
I hope you find it convincing. If not, see reason #10.
1) It’s easy. The 2010 census include 10 simple questions and takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. It is the shortest census in history.
2) It’s important. Census data is used to establish state legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the US house of representatives.
3) It’s confidential. By law, the US Census Bureau cannot share your responses with anyone. Including welfare and immigration agencies.
4) We all benefit financially. The data collected will determine how more than 400 Billion dollars in federal funds will be distributed to local governments. Undercounting even 1,000 people can cost your county, city, town or neighborhood millions of dollars!
5) It can help your community recruit new businesses and jobs. Local officials use census data to attract new businesses and jobs.
6) It helps plan for local needs. Data will be used to forecast housing and transportation needs, draw school district boundaries, develop assistance programs, and plan for health care needs.
7) It can help you during disasters. The higher our census numbers, the more federal and state assistance we will qualify to receive in the event of a declared disaster. Californian-Iranians might especially want to think of this reason.
8) It provides a snapshot of Iranians in the US. Each community is different, with different needs. An accurate census count will help provide for the specific political as well as civic needs of all Iranians in the US.
9) It’s convenient. If you return your census by April 1, 2010, a US Census Bureau employee will not need to visit your home.
10) It’s the law. All people living in the US for at least six months out of each year, are required by law to complete and return their census forms.