If you can't make the Friday deadline, you "should still try to pop it in the mail," said Kim Hunter, a spokesman for the Census Bureau based in Detroit. But "after Friday, the chances are raised pretty high that somebody is going to come by."
As of yesterday afternoon, 65 percent of Franklin County residents had mailed back the form,
despite repeated public appearances by Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, state Treasurer Kevin L.
Boyce (a former Columbus City Council member), and other city and county officials urging residents
to send it back.
Of the Big 8 cities, Columbus bested only Cleveland. The best response among Ohio's largest
cities was in Canton, at 67 percent.
"The mayor's been pounding this," said Coleman spokesman Dan Williamson. "He's had a number of
events, both with the media and to reach different communities. He talked about it in the State of
the City. He's talked about it whenever he can."
Columbus has a challenge because of its international population, particularly its Somali
residents, Williamson said.
"There are some cultural barriers, there are some languages barriers - frankly, there's some
suspicion," Williamson said. City officials worked hard to overcome that, but it remains a
challenge, he said.
Somali leaders in Columbus complained last month that the U.S. Census Bureau hasn't done enough
to educate members of their community, especially recent immigrants, about why it is important to
fill out the census form. Census officials responded that they had spent more than a year
presenting workshops to Columbus' Somali community and had hired a Somali leader to help with the
Columbus has the second-largest Somali community in the country, behind Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Estimates of the Somali population in Franklin County have ranged from 15,000 to 80,000.
Boyce said he has been told by census officials that Franklin County's response rate is about
where it was at this point during the 2000 census. He expects there to be a late surge in mailings.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of ecological, political and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. DISCLAIMER: Any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.