It's time to stand up and be counted, as county organizers are preparing to assist in the 2010 Federal Census.

It's time to stand up and be counted, as county organizers are preparing to assist in the 2010 Federal Census.

The 2010 Complete Count Committee held its second meeting last week, to further preparations for this year's census. The committee's goal, according to city planner Greg DeLong, is to make sure as many county residents as possible are counted this year.

"We've formed the complete count committee to raise awareness and to make sure that everyone in the county is counted," DeLong said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every 10 years. The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States, and, among other issues, determines how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

DeLong said one of the committee's primary functions will be to reach those residents that might fall through the cracks in the census.

"The key thing is getting to those that are typically missed - those residents that might be illiterate, or are currently in jail, or non-English speakers," DeLong said. "Right now we are establishing spaces around the county for those who may need help in filling out their survey, spaces where they can come and get help."

DeLong said the city's planning office has been working for the past three years in mapping out the community in anticipation of the census.

While the Complete Count committee has thus far worked to get the word out through local media outlets, newsletters and Web sites, plans for the coming months include presentations to the Richwood Civic Center, Windsor Court Seniors and Community and Seasoned Citizens organizations. The committee is also working to secure locations to place census information, DeLong said.

"The committee has also received a commitment from local youth to assist in distributing census 2010 flyers within the county's mobile home parks," he said.

The goal of the 2010 census is to count all residents living in the United States on April 1, 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Demographic characteristics surveyed in the census include age, sex, race, marital status, home ownership status, and other areas.

Union County commissioner Charles Hall said that the census also offers an opportunity for those seeking some work in the current economic crisis.

"As I understand it, workers from this county have been pretty slow in signing up, so if you know anyone who might be interested let them know about it; it's pretty easy," Hall said.

The Census Bureau will hire about 1.4 million temporary employees to help with the census. Some of those employees will use GPS-equipped hand-held computers to update maps and ensure there is an accurate address list for the mailing of the census questionnaires.

To conclude its preparations, the Complete Count committee is tentatively scheduling a media and marketing day on April 1, to be held on the lawn of the Union County Courthouse (weather permitting), DeLong said.

More information on the 2010 Census can be found on the Web at http://www.census.gov/2010.