Play your part in getting a complete count

To the Editor:

The Enterprise’s Dec. 26, 1919 issue printed a statement from President Woodrow Wilson’s November 19 proclamation prior to the beginning of the 1920 census, excerpted here:

“Whereas it is of the utmost interest to all the people of the United States that this census should be a complete and accurate report of the population and resources of the nation:

“The sole purpose of the Census is to secure statistical information regarding the population and resources of the country and replies are required from individuals only to complete the compilation of such general statistics. No person can be harmed in any way by furnishing the information required.

“The census has nothing to do with taxation, with military service or justice service, with the compulsion of school attendance, with the regulation of immigration, or with the enforcement of any national, state, or local law or ordinance. There need be no fear that any disclosure will be made regarding any individual person or his affairs.

“For the due protection of the rights and interests of the person furnishing information, every employee of the Census bureau is prohibited, under heavy penalty from disclosing any information which may thus come to his knowledge.

“I therefore earnestly urge upon all persons to answer promptly, completely, and accurately all inquiries addressed to them by the enumerators or other employees of the Census Bureau and thereby to contribute their share toward making this great and necessary public service a success.”

Since that time, although the purpose of the census has not changed, our country has grown and so have the census activities. Nearly 200,000 enumerators have been hired to canvas households that have not responded to the initial census letters. Hundreds of regional offices have been established to coordinate local activities, along with the 5,000 employees of the federal census office itself overseeing the process.  

Enumerators will be canvassing our area very soon. We are in the final two months of the 2020 census.  The federal government has shortened the completion date by one month to September 30 so we now enter the period where those citizens who have not responded will have their last chances to complete their census forms. If you are contacted by an enumerator, please work with them and complete your census form, and be counted.

To provide citizens in our community with additional assistance with the census, the village of Altamont and the Altamont Free Library will host census response representatives outside the Altamont library on Aug. 26, from noon to 5 p.m., to help those with questions or concerns.

Census representatives will have secure iPads to help you respond to the census right on site. If you have not responded to the census as yet, mark your calendars to come to the library that day. Play your part in getting a complete count for our community!

If you prefer, you can still respond on your own, by going to the link:, or by calling toll-free: 1-844-330-2020 to complete your household census.

Kerry Dineen


Village of Altamont


Joe Burke


Altamont Free Library


Jim Gaughan


Village of Altamont



The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.