McEneny holds census talk at G'land library

The 1980 census asked a question about the length of a person's commute to work, reflecting the effects the automobile had on suburban sprawl in the later half of the century.

He also described some of difficulties he had making sure everyone was counted when he served as census director for the Capital District in 1980.

In one instance McEneny said he had to venture beneath a sidewalk in an area where a department store took its deliveries to reach a homeless woman who resided there. The woman was counted, and her address was written as the address of the department store.

McEneny also described a situation in which he went to the Port of Albany at 12:01 a.m. on census day to make sure all foreigners at the port were counted.

"It's supposed to be a picture of what Albany is in a given day," said McEneny, adding that foreigners, college students, and other non-permanent residents are usually counted in the location where they reside on census day.

McEneny said his talk at the library was only part of what is needed to get the word out about the census.

"If you rely on any one person or group, this will fail," said McEneny.

Other efforts to get the word out about the census include children being educated about the census in school, with the intention of having them remind their parents, and the traditional "census Sabbath," a weekend in which religious leaders will speak at their respective houses of worship on the importance of the census.

Randall said the library will host additional programs in the future to get the word out about the census.

"It sounds dull and boring, but makes a difference," said Randall.


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