By Megan Hansen
Northern California census workers started two months of knocking on doors over the weekend. They’re trying to count residents who didn’t return their census forms. Workers are sporting badges from the Department of Commerce and big, black bags that say "US Census" on them. Census spokeswoman Barbara Ferry says the workers are trained to make the process as painless as possible.
Ferry: “It's completely safe, it's important, and it's easy. It won't take ten minutes. And all of the census workers are bound by an oath of confidentiality.”
California could lose a congressional seat if the numbers reflect a decline in the overall population. And Ferry says each person counted equals nearly $1,700 in funds for the state…so there’s a big push to make sure everyone takes part in the census. She says workers will go to a house up to six times to try and tally residents.
The raw population numbers will be submitted to President Obama by the end of December…and California will know its final census count by March 2011.