Miles to go Before we Sleep: The Census Road Tour

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

The pace of census activities is starting to pick up, as we are about 100 days from Census Day.

Starting January 4, we are driving 13 census vehicles (think big trucks packed with census advertising materials) across the United States and Puerto Rico – 12 regional vehicles and one national bus. At each stop, the public will learn about the 2010 Census and how participation supports local communities. The goal is to encourage everyone to complete and return the 10-question census form when it arrives in mailboxes in March 2010.

“The Portrait of American Road Tour” lasts from January through April 2010. At Road Tour events, visitors will have the opportunity to share their photos and stories, explaining why the census will make a difference in their neighborhoods. These contributions will paint a “Portrait of America,” a constantly changing picture that will live online at

I had the opportunity to preview the national Road Tour vehicle and its display a few weeks ago at our headquarters. The highly visual and interactive experience captures the importance of the census and the role each of us plays in a successful count. The display tent has a lot of video images and allows you to make your own video to add to “the Portrait of America.”

On January 4 at NBC’s Today Show, the national tour will launch from New York City’s Rockefeller Center under the lights of the country’s media capital. Each region will kick-off their own tour at landmarks such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Our once-a-decade national ceremony is nearly underway.

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