Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

April 1 is Census Day - Be Counted!

Associate Planner Diane Sbardellati displays U.S. Census materials to help the City obtain a complete count during this year’s census. Perris officials are working with school, business and civic groups to ensure all City residents are counted
Associate Planner Diane Sbardellati displays U.S. Census materials to help the City obtain a complete count during this year’s census. Perris officials are working with school, business and civic groups to ensure all City residents are counted.

Be counted.

That’s the message the City of Perris is sending to all its residents as the 2010 U.S. Census gets into full swing. Perris needs every one of its residents to take part in this year’s census in order for the City to maximize federal dollars it receives for a variety of programs.

Associate Planner Diane Sbardellati, the point person for the census count, said just 68 percent of the City’s population—barely two out of every three people—were counted during the 2000 census. That meant thousands of Perris residents were left out.

Since U.S. Census experts estimate that every person brings $20,000 to his or her home town each decade, the City of Perris potentially lost millions of dollars in the last 10 years.

“It was just left on the table,” Sbardellati said. “That’s a shame because those dollars help pay for roads, parks, public safety, housing and school programs. We want to emphasize that completing the census form is very easy, very quick (it has just 10 questions) and is completely confidential. It is a criminal offense to disclose the information to any other agency.”

In addition to money for the City, Congressional districts are re-apportioned every decade based on state population. More people mean more representatives in Congress, more voices to make sure the needs of Perris and the rest of California are heard and addressed.

The City has launched a multi-pronged effort to count every person in Perris. Working with the Western Riverside Council of Governments, the outreach effort includes contacting community leaders through the Chamber of Commerce, Perris’ Cops and Clergy coalition, City school district and TODEC, the well-known Latino advocacy group. News about the 2010 Census will be posted on the City’s website and facebook page. Videos in Spanish and English will be broadcast on Channel 3. The 60-foot digital-display board at the Perris Valley Auto Center also will scroll messages about the importance of taking part in the 2010 census.

“We are exploring all sorts of ways of capturing peoples’ attention,” Sbardellati said.

Rogers spoke to the Cops and Clergy meeting this week, stressing again the importance of getting the word to church congregations about the need to be included.

“It’s vitally important that everyone is counted so the Inland Empire and the City of Perris can receive its fair share of support,” Rogers said. “I know our ministers will get the word out.”

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said the issue is very simple: “More people translates into more dollars which translates into more services for Perris residents.”

The Census Bureau is hiring thousands of temporary workers to help complete this year’s count. To learn more about employment opportunities, call 866-861-2010.