In an effort to help citizens fill out their Census questionnaires, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, joined by the Baltimore Hispanic Commission, community leaders, and Census staff opened one of the city's Census Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC). The QACs will assist residents in the completion of census questionnaires and offer language assistance. Questionnaire Assistance Centers will offer 59 different language assistance guides along with Braille and large print questionnaires.
"The faces of Baltimore continue to diversify, yet we know that our Hispanic community is historically undercounted," says Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "It is important that Baltimore and the Latino community not lose Census dollars because of language barriers and fear of government. What we do this year will have an impact on what we can do for the next decade. Together we must make sure that all Baltimoreans are counted on April first."
Mayor Rawlings-Blake stressed the privacy and security of the census and praised the efforts of organizations like CASA de Maryland to increase the return rate of Census questionnaires. Based on census track data, some households in Baltimore will receive bilingual forms. CASA de Maryland is assisting with questionnaires during their annual free tax return preparation.
The census count determines the allocation and distribution of over $4 trillion in federal funding over the next 10 years for school construction, housing and community development, road and transportation planning, job training and more. Census counts also determine the boundaries for state and local legislative districts. In Baltimore, the census helps determine the level of language assistance available in city agencies.
Language assistance in French, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Spanish (the city's five most spoken non-English languages) will be available at QACs throughout the city.
A complete list of QACs is available on the city's website, http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Planning/2010Census/CensusHelp.aspx.
Assistance is also available by phone in:
- Spanish: 1-866-935-2010
- Korean: 1-866-955-2010
- Russian: 866-965-2010
- Chinese: 1-866-935-2010
Source: Baltimore City; U.S. Census Bureau
Writer: Walaika Haskins