On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Mrs. Mona Bamburg was the guest speaker for Rotarian Tiffany Burke. Mrs. Bamburg spoke to the Rotary Club of Winnfield about the upcoming census.
Mrs. Bamburg, a retired school principal, and teacher is currently the Director of the Winn Parish Library and is also serving on the Winn Parish Census Planning Committee. She explained that in years that end in five the government does a study of the census process. In 1995 the Mansfield, LA area was chosen for a census process study and Mrs. Bamburg was hired to test out the process of using a laptop computer to collect census data. In the 2000 census she worked for the regular census and in 2005 she worked again in the census study this time in the Natchitoches area. The census is currently hiring in Winn Parish and pays $13.75. She stated that she made more working at the census part-time on random afternoons and weekends than she did in those years as a teacher.
Mrs. Mona went on to list “fun facts” about the census:
- The census is the largest peacetime government operation.
- They hire one million people to count about 310 million people.
- It cost $50 per person to be counted
- 1 out of 10 people are under-reported
- In places like Winn Parish and Red River Parish, the number of people under-reported jumps up to 5 or 6 out of 10.
- The United States was the first country in the world to make a census. part of their constitution and put aside money to make sure the census happens every 10 years.
- In 2010 everyone gets the same census form.
- Your information is not released for 72 years.
The census determines where $675 billion is spent much of which is spent in low socio-economic areas. The data collected by the census helps determine where services like hospitals, nursing homes, head-start programs, roads, title I program at schools, health units for people in poverty, and housing assistance and loans for low-income families. The information collected is used to determine the needs of the parish as well as government representation. It is also used to create maps to help emergency personnel.
What the census data cannot do is share any information collected with immigration, police department, collection agencies, or to lower any government benefits being received.
Mrs. Mona asked everyone to encourage others to complete the census form when they receive it before the census count date of April 1, 2020. Anyone staying in your home on April 1st is counted, even if they are staying with you temporarily. Winn Parish is one of the ten lowest parishes as far as return rate at 54% where as the Louisiana state average is 65%. The census brings in approximately $2300 per person counted into the parish.
She made everyone laugh with stories of her time going door to door collecting census data.