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2010 Census Submissions to Affect Local Non-profits

March 31, 2010

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Cheryl Allen of the Waco Foundation is a part of the city's committee for the 2010 Census, co-chairing the non-profit segment. She, in concert with other city leaders, is encouraging local residents to fill out their census forms, even as today's deadline seems a cutoff for many.

In fact, census workers were out canvassing the Kate Ross neighborhood yesterday morning, talking to residents lined up outside The Gospel Café. It's important because it's the law. And it's important to get an accurate count. But for local non-profits, it's vital. A few forms here and there can make a big difference.

Roy Nash is president of Neighbor Works Waco. He co-chairs the non-profit segment of the Waco Census Committee. He's interested in the low-income neighborhoods his organization serves. And he's taking great care to educate his clients about the importance to his organization, which in turn benefits them.

Don't think of the city of Waco as a whole when considering why a few forms here and there make a big difference. Think of Waco as a checkerboard, with each neighborhood representing a square. It's at this micro-level where the submissions become so important. Low-income neighborhoods have the worst submission rates. But they are the ones who need to fill them out the most. Nash gives a current example from a project Neighbor Works Waco is undertaking.

And how many people in a neighborhood does it take to tip the scales one way or another?

The city will be holding a press conference on the steps of city hall at 10 this morning trumpeting the need for residents who are delinquent in returning their forms to go ahead and get it done. Census workers are, and will continue to be, out in neighborhoods, knocking on doors to get the job completed. Cheryl Allen says census workers will always come in person, not via phone or email. They'll have a badge, and won't ask you for anything other than a form. Allen, Nash, and other non-profits will continue their get out the word efforts so that the neighborhoods they serve won't come up short when the money is divvied up.

You can learn more about Waco's census efforts online at www.kwbu.org/census. Make sure you include the three W's. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.



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