The Marketing Research Association (MRA) appealed to the House Appropriations Committee today in support of the Obama Administration's requested census funding level in Fiscal Year 2010.

Joining with other members of the Census Project coalition, MRA asked the committee "to include the full funding level for the U.S. Census Bureau requested by President Obama and approved by the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee. As you know, the Administration requested $7.375 billion for the U.S. Census Bureau in FY2010, more than twice the FY2009 appropriation of $3.14 billion. With Census 2010 fast approaching, this proposed dramatic increase in funding is essential."

That funding level "reflects the true cost of accomplishing all of these activities successfully, with an emphasis on reaching hard-to-count populations," the letter said. "In addition, the Administration’s request will allow the agency to continue its other crucial operations, such as the American Community Survey, Economic Census and other surveys and population estimates programs."

While we acknowledged that Congress faces "tight fiscal constraints," we concluded that, "Census 2010 represents the nation’s largest peacetime mobilization and most inclusive opportunity for civic engagement. Its outcome will determine the reapportionment of Congress, composition of the Electoral College and legislative districts at all levels of government, and distribution of almost $400 billion in federal funds annually. We need to know that decisions this important are based on an accurate census count."