The census is coming, the census is coming


Census Bureau Regional Director Ralph Lee, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Mexican Consul to Idaho-Montana Ricardo Pineda and Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs chairman Juan Álvarez, from left to right.

It's gonna be census time again. The U.S. Census Bureau already has an office in Boise and state officials are officially on board for the 2010 count

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa read a proclamation this afternoon, prepared by the Census bureau and signed by the governor. It pledges state help to promote an accurate head count in 2010.

U.S. Census Bureau officials descended on Boise today to launch their  build-up to the 2010 census. The event, at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in downtown Boise, was organized by the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

It featured the best hot chocolate citydesk has had all "winter" (is it even winter yet?)

The lead state agency getting on board with the Census Bureau appears to be the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs (which provided the chocolate). The commission is focusing on reaching out to minority communities across the state through newly formed coalition.

"The problem with a lot of Hispanics is reaching them," said Juan Álvarez, chairman of the Hispanic Commission.

Hispanics, blacks and American Indians have historically been undercounted in the decennial census. Ralph Lee, regional director for the Bureau, said the undercount was particularly pronounced in 1990, but somewhat better in 2000.

White and Asians have often been overcounted, Lee added.

Lee announced that the Census Bureau has opened up an Idaho office at 8455 W. Emerald St., and will eventually hire 1,400 people in Idaho. An East Idaho office will open in October 2009. (Just call 1-877-471-5432 for job information.)

Read more in Wednesday's Boise Weekly...