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Census Bureau Counts on Local Help to Collect Data

October 31, 1985|CARMEN VALENCIA | Times Staff Writer

In a series of meetings this week in the Southeast area, Census Bureau officials stressed the local benefits of a special census next year and urged city governments and community organizations to get behind the count.

The interim census, to be conducted in several communities in southeast Los Angeles County and the San Gabriel Valley, is one of two planned in the United States next year that will help the bureau refine techniques in gathering data for the national 1990 census.

Michael Weiler, assistant regional director of the bureau's Los Angeles office, said the census data will affect decision makers in city governments and educational institutions, as well as those in the private sector.

"We are not the sole benefactors from complete and accurate (census) counts," said Weiler, speaking to 20 people at a meeting in Lynwood's Bateman Hall. "The data we're able to generate . . . gives each community an up-to-date snapshot of where the community stands and where it's going."

Three Meetings Held

He said that the information provided by the census--population, incomes, age, race and sex of residents, and the types of housing--will help communities make decisions on the types of services to offer. The afternoon meeting was one of three scheduled by the bureau to give an overview of the census to representatives from community groups.

Regional director Frank White encouraged the gathering to be "true spreaders of the word for us" by informing their friends and family members about the importance of participating in the census.

John Ramirez, a bureau spokesman, said temporary workers Friday will begin verifying and updating addresses on a mailing list that will be used to send questionnaires to residents in March. Offices have been set up in Compton and Bell where approximately 1,000 temporary workers will process the questionnaires.

Local communities will get to review a preliminary count of housing units before the census and the data collected after the census to avoid major discrepancies.

The Southeast/San Gabriel Valley area was selected for an interim survey because of its large representation of ethnic minorities and multiple-family dwellings.

Communities to be counted are Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, East Los Angeles, Florence-Graham, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Los Nietos-West Whittier, Maywood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, South El Monte, South Gate, South San Gabriel and Willowbrook.

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