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Census Bureau Expanding Normal Reach

Wed, January 15, 2020 8:26 PM | Sue Gallup (Administrator)

During this past week the OABA office has fielded correspondence from several members regarding communication with the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau is expanding its normal reach to count nontraditional groups in 2020.  Because of the transient nature of the carnival and circus industries they are focusing on reaching out to everyone in the industry by the end of January.

We requested that our attorney, Wayne Pierce, investigate the matter.  He spoke with a member of the Census Team and these are his findings:

“Census workers are calling carnivals and circuses using the following screening questions:

  •  Will you have any events during the time of April 9 to May 4, 2020?
  •  If so, will you have any workers living on site?  If so, they want to schedule with the owner so that someone can come and do a headcount during that time slot.

On the other hand, if you do not have any events during that time slot or if your workers are not living on site, then they are basically assuming that those workers will be counted by virtue of a permanent residence, so they are not going to ask for any special visitations.

 Unlike the other economic surveys, their exclusive goal is to count people.  She also told me that there was not going to be any segregated data, such as how many people work for carnivals or circuses.  Their only job is to determine how many people live in each state.

She insisted that they were not going to be tracking any of the information regarding bunkhouses, living conditions, wages, or some of those hot buttons.  Now, if it turned out that they were asking other questions, that would be a completely different matter, but she was adamant that they would not.  I see this as primarily a "good citizen" issue and whether you want whatever state you might be in to get the credit for determining federal funding and congressional delegations.  Based on her description, we won't even get credit for employing "X" number of workers or other economic impact statistics.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the office. The thing to remember is that we all want to be counted in the census - it's the right thing to do.

Greg Chiecko

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