March 4, 2010 | The Orange County Register | Original Article

FV Mayor: Your participation in 2010 Census is important

April 1 is 2010 Census Day. The goal of the 2010 Census is to count all residents living in the United States and it territories.

In 1790, the first United States census count was conducted to determine how many seats each state would have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Our new nation had a population of 3,929,214 residents. Census counts have since been taken every ten years.

Have you ever wondered why the U.S. Census Bureau spends so much time and money to conduct an accurate population count?

The U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every ten years. Every person living in the United States must be counted – both citizens and noncitizens. An accurate census count guides the distribution of federal monies to state, local and tribal governments. 2010 census data will directly affect how more than $4 trillion in federal funding will be allocated over the next 10 years.

Census data will also determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. California has 53 seats in the House of Representatives. California has grown at a slower rate than some other states. It is, therefore, important that every Californian is counted to maintain the state's influence in Washington D.C.

The census data is also used to guide local decision makers on where to build new roads, hospitals, transportation needs, child-care and senior centers, schools and more. For example, census data from the 2000 Census indicated Fountain Valley had a rapidly growing senior population. Based on this information, the City Council made construction of a new senior center and affordable senior housing a priority. In 2004, the Center at Founders Village was completed, providing a state-of-the-art senior and community center for our residents to enjoy.

The new 2010 Census questionnaire has been shortened to only 10 questions. Census forms will be delivered in mid-March. When you receive yours, just answer the 10 short questions and mail it back in the postage-paid envelope provided. If the questionnaire is not returned, you may receive a visit from a census taker possessing proper identification who will ask if assistance is needed to complete the form. In addition, there will be a census assistance desk in City Hall staffed by U.S. Census personnel for your convenience in completing the form.

Representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate it will take approximately 10 minutes for the average household to complete the questionnaire. To help ensure the nation's increasingly diverse population can answer the census questionnaire accurately, questionnaires will be available in more than 60 languages.

The information you provide will remain confidential. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone – not the IRS, FBI, CIA or any other government agency. Penalties are in place to safeguard your information.

I, along, with my City Council colleagues, want to ensure that everyone living in Fountain Valley is counted. If you have any questions about the U.S. Census count, please contact the Planning Department at 714-593-4425.


Larry Crandall is a City Councilman and the Mayor of Fountain Valley.