Keokuk To Focus On Census

Keokuk, IA – The U.S. Census Bureau wants city leaders to step up informational efforts in western Keokuk. Abbie Peterson says the census tract (Highway 61 bypass to Main Street to the Mississippi River) had low participation in 2000.

Code Enforcement Officer Kathie Mahoney is part of the group coordinating Keokuk's efforts. She says the city will have people go around, door-to-door, to encourage residents to fill out their census form and to provide a replacement as needed.

Mahoney says the information will also be provided with the new residential recycling bins. She says the city will start distributing them on Monday, April 5.

The U.S. Census Bureau would like Keokuk to conduct a "March to the Mailbox" event early next month to raise awareness. The event could be a parade or a rally, complete with t-shirts, baseball hats, and banners.

Peterson says filling out the census form helps cities secure more federal funding. She says it also helps determine congressional seats, in particular, the fact that Iowa could lose one of its five seats.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's website, about 37%of Keokuk's residents have already returned their census forms. The numbers compare countywide (40%), statewide (38%) and nationwide (29%).