Party enoucrages census participation in South Tucson

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The first line of the census form reads that every person living in the United States must be counted on April 1st, 2010.

And people from one of the most under-counted areas from the last census want to make sure everyone takes this date seriously.

Thursday may have been April fool's day, but for the government, Thursday was Census Day.

A celebration of music, food, and fun brought dozens to South Tucson Thursday, all in the name of knowledge, power and money -- the primary reasons for the U.S. Census.

Deanna Sanchez helped organize the event to try and encourage those in South Tucson who have not yet-- like herself-- filled out their census form, to do so, "South Tucson was one of the lowest in Pima County, actually throughout Arizona." Lowest in terms of filling out their census forms and mailing them back.

Census officials say everyone should have received their forms several weeks ago, and so far, as David Taylor of the Pima Association of Governments describes, Arizona is on track with the rest of the nation, "The rest of the nation's about 54%. Arizona as a state is about 52. Pima County is 56."

Filling out the census form and mailing it back ends up saving a lot of government money.

"If you mail your form back, that transaction costs the United States 42¢. if we have to come knock at your door and ask you to fill the form out, it costs $57," explains David Taylor. Which is part of the message congressman Raul Grijalva and others wanted to send to party-goers Thursday in South Tucson. That and the fact that every person equates to an additional $2,500 for a region.

Anyone who hasn't filled out their form can expect to have a census worker knocking on their door beginning in about four weeks, and they'll keep on trying to get hold of people through June.