Letters to the Editor

Islanders do well in census

Working for the U.S. Census Bureau as a partnership assistant I had the pleasure to work in both Island and Skagit counties. My responsibilities were to inform, engage and encourage residents in these counties to participate in the 2010 Census.

As an Island County resident I am pleased to report that we had a 78 percent mail-in participation rate for 2010, a significant increase from the 2000 rate. We are 6 percent above the national average and 4 percent above the state average. We ranked second out of the 39 counties in Washington.

To highlight only a few of the outstanding community performance rates: Langley 82 percent, Camano Island 81 percent, Greenbank 81 percent, Coupeville 80 percent, Freeland 78 percent, Clinton 75 percent, and Oak Harbor 74 percent.

I would like to personally thank all of the Census 2010 partners in Island County, in excess of 100 businesses, government entities, media and community based organizations, the Island County Complete County Committee, the Questionnaire Assistance and Be Counted sites, and most importantly our community. We could not achieve these outcomes without your incredible contributions, efforts and participation.

Now census takers begin the task of going door-to-door to obtain census responses in person for residents that did not get counted. Please open your door to the census taker, they will have a census identification badge and bag and will not ask to enter your home — we can’t move forward until you give your answers back! Final participation rates will be posted in the fall which will include late mail returns.

You’ve made a difference in your communities, state and in the country.

Michael Bakker

Oak Harbor

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