Astorino and Lowey urge all residents to send in their Census forms ASAPWhat are you waiting for? Mail in your 2010 Census form now. 

That's the message from County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who joined with other government officials to get the word out about why this is so important.

"Our Founding Fathers recognized that having an accurate count of 'we the people' was crucial to good government," said Astorino. "It is even more important today, as we make public policy decisions in difficult financial times about which programs should be maintained and how to pay for them."

As of early April, Westchester County's return rate for the Census was 52 percent. This means that about half of the county's residents have not yet done so. (The county's population is almost 956,000 – so more than 400,000 county residents have not filled out and returned the census forms.)

The federal count of every person in the U.S. -- done every 10 years – is used as the basis for many important political, economic and social decisions. Census data is used to determine how federal funding is distributed and congressional seats are apportioned, as well as what community services are needed.

More than $400 billion a year in federal funding is at issue. This included funding for schools, hospitals, job training, infrastructure, emergency services and community programs.

"In just minutes, you can help our schools, hospitals, transportation systems, and even our local economic recovery by completing and returning your 2010 Census form," said Lowey. "Participating in this critical count will help ensure our high cost-of-living and densely-populated region received the federal resources we need and deserve to maintain and improve our community."

This year's Census form is one of the shortest in U.S. history, with just 10 questions. The form should be completed and sent back to the Census Bureau free of charge.
If you don't mail your form back, you'll be getting a visit from a Census taker who will collect the information from you.

All information individuals provide on the form is confidential and the Census Bureau, by law, cannot share your personal information with any police, tax, or other enforcement agencies.

For more information, visit Census 2010 or contact Brian Connolly in the Department of Planning at (914) 995-6252.