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2010 census could change Minnesota's congressional representation

U.S. Census Bureau representatives are asking for the city of Park Rapids' help in getting the word out about the 2010 count.

Cynthia Madigan, who works out of the Bemidji office, would like to have Park Rapids become a partner with the Census Bureau.

"We'll need help recruiting people," she said.

The 2010 census is especially important in Minnesota because the count affects political representation. The state could lose a seat in the House of Representatives.

The count will begin April 1 and continue through June.

Approximately 1,000 field staff will be hired. Local residents will be hired for the door-to-door initiative next year.

Testing sites are being set up for people to come in if they are seeking a census job. Libraries and city halls are good places, Madigan said.

"We've done a lot of work so far," she said. Questionnaires will be delivered in March. The door-to-door initiative will be for those who don't return the questionnaire by April 1.

Madigan hopes to have questionnaire drop-off locations throughout the city. Also, boxes with questionnaires will be available for people to pick up. Questionnaires are not delivered to PO boxes.

In 2000, only between 50 and 60 percent of people in Hubbard County responded, Madigan said.

"We want to increase accuracy," she said. "We want to count everyone once."

Area schools will be partnering to keep students informed about the census. The hope is that students will go home and tell their parents to participate in the census.

Madigan would like to partner with other local entities to encourage better participation. For more information on the 2010 census and job opportunities, go to