Colo. could get $880 per person in census | SkyHiNews.com

Colo. could get $880 per person in census

IVAN MORENO
Associated Press Writer

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Colorado could get $880 for each person counted in the census, translating into about $4.3 billion in federal funding a year, the state Department of Local Affairs said Wednesday.

The figures are estimates based on population projections that “give people an order of the magnitude” of the U.S. census, said DOLA Executive Director Susan Kirkpatrick, who spoke at the opening of a Census office in Greeley.

Filling out the census form is the equivalent of “writing an $880 check for your community,” she said, a number based on the count over 10 years starting in 2011.

Census officials have begun outreach operations and opening offices across the state. Offices in Denver and Boulder opened Tuesday.

“It’s kind of like the start-gun at the beginning of a race,” said Census Bureau spokeswoman Deborah Cameron.

Cameron also said that although people won’t see questionnaires until mid-March, officials are seeking workers to follow up with people who don’t return their forms by April 1.

The bureau also starts organizing sites at libraries and schools that will open early next year for people who need language assistance or have questions about the form, she said.

The form, which consists of 10 questions, is shorter than the previous count and one of the shortest questionnaires in the count’s history, according to officials.

A large number of Latinos live in northern Colorado, particularly in Greeley, where they make up about a third of the population, according to U.S. census data. The area also has seen an increasing number of African refugees settling in neighboring Fort Morgan because of jobs at Cargill Meat Solutions Corp.

The Wichita, Kan.-based firm has hired more than 360 such refugees, mostly from Somalia.

Pilar De Jesus, the office manager in Greeley, said workers will be contacting churches and community centers where the new immigrants gather to make sure they’re counted. Officials also are emphasizing that information given by people will remain confidential for 72 years.

The Greeley office will handle operations in eight northeast Colorado counties, including Weld, Larimer, Logan, Morgan and Sedgwick.


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