Census data collection concerns councilor
April 2, 2020
A last minute understanding about US Census data collection has drawn concern from Cathlamet Town Council Member David Olson.
Census day was yesterday (Wednesday) when people were to have responded to census questionnaires.
Olson learned this week that many Cathlamet residents with post office mail boxes haven't received a census questionnaire. Further investigation Tuesday revealed census forms were mailed only to residential addresses with mail boxes and not to post office boxes.
This drew Olson's concern on Tuesday, for census data is used by federal and state government to set many appropriations and representation in Congress, the state legislature and local districts and commissions.
Most Cathlamet residents receive mail at the post office, and with no census forms coming from them, census enumerators would have to go door to door.
"Door to door in a virus pandemic?" Olson said in an email to The Eagle. "Unlikely. Yes, I know two people who have told me they have been confirmed working for the census as enumerators, but I don't know if they have any more information than I do!"
Olson attempted Tuesday to obtain more information from the Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Council of Governments, which is handling local census efforts but hadn't received a response at press time.
He said that the matter would be included on the agenda of the town council's April 6 meeting.