Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today issued a final call to action to all City of Pittsburgh residents to complete and mail their 2010 Census forms by April 16 in an effort to improve the City's response rate. Currently at 67 percent, the City's response rate has passed its 2000 Census rate (61 percent) and is higher than comparable cities in the United States such as Baltimore at 61 percent and Cleveland at 55 percent, as well as Philadelphia at 58 percent.
"I applaud our City's efforts so far," said Ravenstahl, "and highly encourage any resident who hasn't participated to complete and return their questionnaire by Friday, April 16. It takes just 10 minutes to answer 10 questions and it costs nothing to mail. We must increase our response rates because this count will reflect the federal funding our City and the non-profit community receives for the next 10 years."
In an effort to keep improving the City's response rate, the Mayor has announced a neighborhood Census competition. The neighborhood with the highest mail-back response rate will receive a proclamation from the Mayor awarding their efforts. The City has launched a website tracking the response rate by neighborhoods as well as response rates for comparable cities, Allegheny County, the state and nation. The site will be updated weekly through May 15 at which point the competition will be complete and the City will announce the winning neighborhood. Residents can find this information on the city website at www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us.
April 16 is the official last day to mail in your 2010 Census form. After that, if you have not mailed in your form you will be put on the list to be visited by a Census Taker. Beginning May 1 and working through July, Census Takers will begin going door-to-door to collect data. It costs the federal government just 43 cents to have a resident return their questionnaire by U.S. Mail; it will cost $25 to send out a Census Taker to try to collect the data in person.
The information obtained from the Census is critical in determining how Congress is apportioned, as well as how federal funding is distributed to states, counties, and municipalities. This funding helps the City with everything from education to road repairs to services for the elderly.
Ravenstahl added, "We are the City of Champions, let's work together to prove it. Spread the word and encourage your friends and neighbors to be counted and may the best neighborhood win!"
Allegheny County's response rate is currently at 74 percent, the Commonwealth of PA is at 72 percent, and the nation is at 67 percent.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687