The two year countdown to the census began in Washington today with a call for a fair and accurate count, using modern and proven statistical formulas. In 1990 the census missed 10 million people, most of whom were poor, living in cities and rural communities, African Americans and Latinos, immigrants and children. "The Census Bureau has the tools to perform an accurate census in 2000. It is wrong for Congress to prevent that from happening simply because the Republican leadership doesn't like the political realities of a fair head count," Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.
The GOP, concerned that it could lose its hold on power, is committed to preventing the use of sampling in the upcoming head count. "The Republicans see nothing wrong with furthering their agenda at the expense of the poor and the disenfranchised," Pelosi said. "An undercount costs cities like San Francisco and other communities, large and small, millions in federal funding for programs that use census-based formulas to allocate dollars. Not only is this foolish, but it compounds a problem by denying adequate resources to programs that are designed to assist the very population that has been undercounted."
In 1992, Congress directed the National Academy of Sciences to review the census process. It found that by supplementing direct counting methods with modern statistical techniques, the Census Bureau could provide a more accurate count for less money. This month, the Census Bureau will conduct a dress rehearsal for its use of sampling in several cities including Sacramento.
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