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02/04/2010

Experts to Explore Impact of 2010 Census on S.C. on Feb. 11

Quick Facts

 Bobby Bowers, research director for the State Budget and Control Board, state chief statistician, will discuss how much South Carolina stands to gain – or lose – depending on census results.
 Census questionnaires will arrive at households throughout South Carolina and America in mid-March.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - A panel of experts will explore the 2010 Census’s impact on the Palmetto State at a public forum at Winthrop University on Thursday, Feb. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. The event will take place in Kinard Auditorium and will last about one hour.
       
“Census 2010: Let’s Get it Right” will be the theme of the event sponsored by the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, according to Adolphus Belk Jr., associate professor and acting chair of the West Forum, named for the late S.C. Gov. John C. West.
       
“Gov. West believed that the next generation of leaders needed to understand the importance of public service,” Belk said, adding that the 2010 Census was a fitting topic for the forum.
       
Census questionnaires will arrive at households throughout South Carolina and America in mid-March. April 1 is Census Day, the reference day for data collection. Census takers will go door-to-door to collect information from households that do not mail back questionnaires beginning in early May.  The U.S. Constitution mandates the census; the 2010 Census is the nation’s 23rd headcount.
       
Bobby Bowers, research director for the State Budget and Control Board, state chief statistician, will discuss how much South Carolina stands to gain – or lose – depending on census results.  Bowers also chairs the South Carolina Complete Count Committee and has been outspoken about how much it costs South Carolinians when people are not counted. He estimates that the state loses more than $60 million a year because of uncounted people during Census 2000.
       
Bowers has predicted that a successful census could gain South Carolina an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. If that happens, it would be the first time since 1930 that the state had seven representatives.
       
Other expert panelists include: Somonica L. Green, deputy director of the Charlotte Regional Census Center of the U.S. Census Bureau; C. Jack Tucker, professor emeritus of sociology, and Kimberly Faust, executive assistant to Winthrop University President Anthony DiGiorgio.
       
Bowers and Green, a University of South Carolina graduate, will discuss challenges to a successful census, while the other panelists likely will focus on socioeconomic characteristics revealed by census data, Belk said. Tucker and Faust both have extensive experience in using census data for research and teaching.
       
A question-and-answer session will follow panelists’ brief remarks.
       
The Feb. 11 forum is one of a series of forums held this spring by the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy. Also this month, Lisa Bratton will talk on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. in Kinard Auditorium about her work collecting oral histories of the descendents of the slaves who worked at the Historic Brattonsville plantation, many of whom later became sharecroppers. A descendent of the Bratton family slaves, she will share many of her observations from her upcoming book, “I am the Forever.”

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