"We're looking for partners all the time," said Gloria Solomon, partnership specialist with the Census 2010. "There's a hard-to-count population we're trying to reach," she said.
The decennial census count helps determine the distribution of $400 billion in federal money, Solomon pointed out. "If we miss a few people, Rockdale may be short those federal funds." Certain groups, such as the elderly, economically disadvantaged, minorities and non-English speakers are less likely to complete the survey, she said.
This upcoming census count form has been radically streamlined and simplified from the last time around. Although a few households may still receive the detailed booklet of questions, which is part of a separate survey effort by the Census Bureau called the American Community Survey, most households will see the two-page form.
"It's ten questions, ten minutes," said Solomon. "We asked the people, ‘What can we do to change it? What will have you fill it out?' They said, ‘Don't ask so many questions.' So we listened and we reduced it."
To find materials or more information on the local count effort, contact the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce at (770) 483-7049, Jennifer Edwards at the city of Conyers at (770) 929-4299, or Holly Lafontaine with Rockdale County at (770) 278-7055.