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Riverside Co. officials urge Census response

March 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Riverside County supervisors are making a big pitch for county residents to be counted in this month's U.S. Census. They say the county can't afford to miss out on any of the payments it will get from the federal government that are based on the number of residents it has.A video urging residents to respond to the census was released in Riverside Monday. Its message is that millions of dollars in federal funding will be lost if the Census misses even 1 percent of the county's population.

Census officials estimate that for every person counted about $1,200 in federal funds flows to local agencies each year. The money helps pay for roads and schools, and local services that meet the needs of children and the elderly.

"In a down economy, a full census count is more important than ever before, said Robin Lowe, chairman of the Western Riverside Council of Governments Executive Committee. "Our residents can make a huge financial difference for Riverside County by ensuring that they complete and return their census forms."

The 2010 census form has 10 questions that should take about 10 minutes to complete. Information on the forms is completely confidential and the Census Department may not share it with anyone. Community groups and local agencies have joined forces in Riverside County to raise awareness about the census and increase the number of residents who are counted.

Census figures are also used to determine the number of seats Riverside County has in the House of Representatives, and the state Legislature.