Originally posted by F350:
The link is dead, what is this all about? Are they having some kind of illegal alien picnic with the intention of getting census information?
Yes, indeedy. They sure did. I don't know why the link is dead, but I was able to find it by searching the key words online. Here's the article...
Fiesta to promote census
By Trevor Stokes
Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 10:27 p.m.
RUSSELLVILLE - The U.S. Census - the decennial national head count - is hardly a party, unless you live in Russellville.
The city plans to host a census fiesta Saturday to encourage Hispanic residents to get involved and get counted.
Franklin County is on par with the national response at 66 percent, but wants its fair share of the estimated $1,200 per person per year in federal appropriations.
Organizers plan to host the fiesta from 2-5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot along Jackson Avenue and Franklin Street.
Booths will be set up with bilingual speakers to help residents fill out their census forms.
The official census deadline to mail in forms has passed, but organizers said they would still hold the fiesta.
"They're going to go ahead and take (the forms); (the) Census will count them even though they're late, or so I've been told," said Russellville Mayor Troy Oliver. Russellville, along with Franklin County, has joined together to try and increase the count in the area.
Census workers in the region told the mayor people could fill out the forms after Friday's official deadline, he said.
"(The fiesta) will probably cost the city $1,000; the county is going to help us with the food," Oliver said during a planning meeting for the event. "If we can get all this working, I think we can get most of the Hispanics counted."
Even with a $10,000 countywide campaign to boost the head count, 62 percent of the residents living in Franklin County, and presumably its seat, Russellville, filled out their census forms past the April 1 deadline. The response rate is the lowest in the four-county region of northwest Alabama.
Some of the specific challenges for Franklin County include the highest percentage of Hispanic residents - a community traditionally fearful of the federal government - along with the highest rate of apartment dwellers in the four-county region.
One out of every eight Franklin County residents identifies as Hispanic, according to the 2006-08 American Community Survey. The survey also estimates that 31 percent of Franklin County residents rent apartments, a population typically more transient.
Since most of the Hispanic community ranks as low income, increasing the Hispanic count could help county residents receive help in housing, roads and infrastructure, Oliver said.
Census officials estimate it costs about $25 per resident to follow up with households that did not mail back 2010 Census questionnaires - an estimated cost to taxpayers overall of $2.7 billion.
Much of the fiesta support came from the city and county administrations along with the Hispanic church community.
"We are part of the community, so we need to be counted so the government knows we live there," said Augustine Vargas, pastor at Llamada Final.
"That is the purpose of the census, and we want to fulfill the purpose."
At least 1,000 members of the Hispanic community are expected to show up, Vargas said, with around six churches involved in the effort.
"It will be like a party with the band and worship; each church will participate," Vargas said. "We will have food. It will be a fun day."
Trevor Stokes can be reached at 740-5728 or trevor.stokes@TimesDaily.com.