Massive census campaign kicks off today

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GLENDALE -- Get ready for the media blitz. TV, radio, print and all kinds of other advertising begins today as the government debuts an unprecedented $340 million census campaign. It's kicking off in only a few select parts of the country, including Glendale, which is hosting a little event known as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl today.

The goal of the campaign is to make sure Americans get the message that every person counts, especially in tough economic times.

The bureau will mail out their once-a-decade census forms to about 120 million households in March.

In 2000, about 67 percent of households mailed back their forms, ending a three-decade decline in the response rate.

Phoenix, the fifth-largest city in the nation, estimates that it gets $400 in state and federal funds per person counted in the census. That money goes toward community services, such as libraries, parks and fire stations.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)