Census workers start knocking on doors today (May 1)
Enumerators' identities easily verifiable, GJ office manager says
Census Bureau enumerators today will begin the job of knocking on more than 20,000 doors in the Grand Valley and about 145,000 across the Western Slope.
The 20,135 addresses in Mesa County that the census will visit in the coming weeks are jut shy of one-third of the number of housing units of all kinds known to Mesa County.
That’s a bit more than the 25 percent of households that failed to respond to the census forms mailed out in March for the April 1 census date.
Mesa County had one of the state’s highest response rates — 75 percent — to the census, and it was just one percentage point higher than the 2000 rate. Grand Junction had a 76 percent response rate, also a percentage point better than in 2000.
Enumerators will knock on doors as they work to complete the decennial census, which is used to determine representation in Congress and the state Legislature, as well as the distribution of federal funds.
Enumerators will be easily recognizable to residents, Grand Junction Census Office Manager Kathleen DuHamel said.
All will wear census badges with their names on them and will carry satchels emblazoned with the Census Bureau logo.
“They will not ask you for your Social Security number, and they won’t ask to come in,” DuHamel said.
Enumerators who find no one at home will leave notices asking residents to call either them directly or the Grand Junction census office, 361-3692, where census employees can complete the questionnaire over the telephone, DuHamel said.
Residents most likely to see enumerators include people who receive their mail at post-office boxes. Forms weren’t sent to post-office boxes because the census is tied to physical addresses.
Some nursing-home residents might not have received forms. Census officials will work with nursing-home operators to complete the count of those people, the Census Bureau said.
Most of the enumerators’ effort to contact residents will occur on the weekends and in the evening hours, when they are more likely to find residents at home, DuHamel said.
The Grand Junction office is the headquarters for the Western Slope head-counting effort.
From today until July 3, 1,500 enumerators will swarm across the region, looking to contact 145,000 addresses from which there was no response to the original census mailings sent in March.