The 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour set out today from New York City's Times Square, launching a cross-country interactive experience designed to increase awareness and encourage participation in the nation's once-a-decade population count.
During the next four months, the tour will be part of the largest civic outreach and awareness campaign in U.S. history -- stopping and exhibiting at more than 800 events nationwide. From local parades and festivals to major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four, the Census Bureau will attempt to motivate America's growing and increasingly diverse population to complete and mail back 10-question census forms when they arrive in mailboxes March 15-17.
“The Road Tour seeks to educate and empower every person living across our country to take part and participate in the 2010 Census," Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. "Attendees at Road Tour events will learn about the census, how it affects their local communities and even share their personal stories about why the census is important to them at interactive kiosks and exhibits.”
The regional vehicles offer a similar user experience, including GPS technology that allows visitors to track the tour online as it happens and through daily social media postings on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube.
Regional launch events include vehicles departing from national landmarks across the nation, such as the USS Constitution in Boston, Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Altogether, more than 3 million people will have the opportunity to share their photos and stories, explaining why the census will make a difference in their communities. This constantly changing “portrait of America” will be captured during all Road Tour events and will live online at 2010census.gov.
Each vehicle has a unique name selected to help educate people about the Census Bureau, and they have unique Twitter handles for on-the-road updates. For updates on all 13 vehicles from January through April, follow us on Twitter at: @2010Portrait.
|Vehicle Name||Census Region||Unique Twitter Handle|
|Mail It Back||National||@10MailItBack|
The Portrait of America Road Tour was designed to minimize its impact on the environment, with its 223 metric ton carbon footprint being offset through carbon credit donations by Carbonfund.org. Other national partners associated with the tour include Best Buy, Google, Sprint, 3M, MTV, Telemundo, Black Entertainment Television, Country Music Television, Sesame Street and Valero Energy. These partners have pledged to help increase awareness about the 2010 Census and have each provided resources to make the Road Tour and the census a success.
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States. By law, everyone in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens, must be counted every 10 years. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments. The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest census questionnaires in history and takes about 10 minutes to complete. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.
As with all 2010 Census information, the address information collected by the Census Bureau is confidential by law (Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9). All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.