November 19, 2009 | | Original Article

Governor Crist Invites Grassroots Organizations to Help Ensure Accurate 2010 Sunshine Census

Posted: 2:21 PM Nov 17, 2009

State of Florida seeks contractors for 2010 Census integrated public awareness campaign.Reporter: Press Release
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As part of his ongoing effort to ensure Florida receives its fair share of federal funding and representation, Governor Charlie Crist invited grassroots organizations and advocates for Florida's minority and other hard-to-count populations to become involved in the 2010 Sunshine Census initiative.

The Executive Office of the Governor is requesting proposals from potential contractors to develop the most influential grassroots outreach and public relations network possible.

"Florida's diverse population enriches our state in a variety of ways, and community leaders throughout our state are needed to ensure every Florida resident is counted during the 2010 Census," Governor Crist said. "Every person is needed to ensure Florida's fair share of representation in Washington, D.C., during the next decade."

The target of the 2010 Sunshine Census is to count every man, woman and child who lives in Florida. The integrated public awareness campaign is designed to mobilize the most influential outreach, public relations and grassroots network possible. Potential contractors are asked to demonstrate their ability to involve businesses, faith-based groups, community organizations, elected officials, grassroots and ethnic organizations in targeting hard-to-count segments of Florida's population and increase participation in the 2010 Census.

In February 2009, Governor Crist signed Executive Order 09-41, creating the 2010 Sunshine Census Statewide Complete Count Committee, and appointed 45 Floridians to serve on the committee until December 31, 2010. The Statewide Complete Count Committee mirrors Florida's diverse population to ensure an accurate count of the people who reside in Florida in 2010 and represents a wide array of community-based and faith-based organizations, local governments, media and advertising groups, and businesses.

The Statewide Complete Count Committee has been focusing on reaching populations that have historically had a low census response rate, including African-Americans, migrant workers, Hispanics, immigrants, children, Asian-Americans and young adult males. In addition, many counties and cities have organized Complete Count Committees of their own. Request for proposals for the Florida's 2010 Sunshine Census integrated public awareness campaign will focus on reaching the following hard-to-count populations: American Indians, Asian-Americans, African-Americans, college and university students, veterans, persons with disabilities, Hispanics, homeless persons, part-time Florida residents, migrant farm workers, and people living in rural areas.

Timeline for the 2010 Sunshine Census

During February and March 2010, census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household throughout Florida and are due to be returned by mail by Census Day, which is April 1, 2010. These short forms take only minutes to fill out, but will have an impact on Florida's future for the next 10 years. Between April and July 2010, census takers will visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail.

Information obtained by Census Bureau employees is kept, by law, strictly confidential for 72 years. Census Bureau employees have taken an oath to protect confidentiality and are subject to a jail term, fine - or both - for disclosing any information that could identify a respondent of a household. This door-to-door collection of census data lasts through July 2010.

In December 2010, the Census Bureau will deliver population counts to the President of the United States for apportionment, the process of proportionately dividing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states.

About the Census

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is conducted every 10 years as mandated by the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 2. The census is the foundation for measuring the nation's population and includes all persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures, including citizens and non-citizens.

The first nationwide census was taken in 1790 by the U.S. marshals on horseback and counted 3.9 million people. The first Florida census was taken in 1830 when Florida was still a territory and counted 34,730 people. The most recent census was taken in 2000 and counted more than 281 million people nationwide and approximately 15.9 million in Florida. When the census first began in 1790, its sole purpose was to determine the number of seats each state had in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, in addition to this purpose, the U.S. Census also affects the amount of federal funding received by the states, counties and cities.

For more information, please visit The request for proposals solicitation document is available only through the State of Florida Vendor Bid System at For a more direct link, visit