WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke at a Congressional Kick-Off Event for the 2010 Census. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Every ten years, as long as we have been a nation under the Constitution, the United States has taken a Census of everyone who lives here. The Founding Fathers ordered regular census-taking because they understood that, in order to govern ourselves fairly, we have to know how many people live here, and where.
“As you all know, Census numbers don’t just determine how many representatives get to speak for each state in Washington. They help determine how much federal money goes to support the roads we drive on, the schools our children learn in, the police and fire departments that protect our homes, and much more.
“That’s why the 2010 Census is so important: it’s about every community in America getting its fair share. Figuring out what makes up a fair share takes the hard work and dedication of Census employees. But, above all, it takes the participation of ordinary families.
“Participating in the Census is about sticking up for our fair share. And it’s about being a good neighbor. Because if some of us sit out, the result could be bigger class sizes for our sons and daughters, roads in our neighborhoods that can’t stand up to the traffic that drives on them, and too few police officers to handle crime. That’s why the Census is about community—because the harms of sitting it out stretch further than many of us might think.
“We want everyone in America to know: participating in the Census can’t hurt you in any way, not because of immigration status or any other reason. But sitting it out can and does hurt your neighbors.
“Thank you for all of your work to make the 2010 Census a success. All year, we will urge everyone in America to stand up and be counted. And just as importantly, we’ll be living by the principle that our Founders laid out, which is still true today: in this country, everyone counts.”