/* Just Say No. The American Community Survey
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Monday, December 31, 2007

INTRODUCTION... Stays on Top with a Phony Date

Helping You Make Informed Decisions— US Census Bureau Motto

My informed decision is NO! I won't answer the questions. I won't answer the phone. I won't answer the door. There. I said it. Do I feel better or more brave because I took a stand? No. Actually, I feel more uneasy because I feel far less free to speak my political mind than I ever have in my life. The overwhelming sense of foreboding I feel is deeply disturbing. I'm 60.

Most people don't even know about The American Community Survey (ACS). Sounds friendly enough, doesn't it? After all, we're all Americans, our sense of Community is important, and we love to voice our opinions, especially if someone is taking a Survey.What Ad Agency or PR Firm was paid for that extraordinary wordsmithing? Bureaucrats aren't that creative.

My ACS sat in the Junk Mail Pile for awhile because it was addressed to "Resident". Arriving next, a Fed-Ex from the "US Government Printing Office" and I thought, Now what? Opened the Fed-Ex, and it was a relief to see my renewed passport. Thinking these pieces of mail were somehow connected, I opened The American Creepy Survey (ACS). It must be a joke, a scam— who in their right mind would write down answers to these probing, intrusive questions and then just drop it in the mail? Where does the hard copy go? Who sees it? Who has access to it? It is not a survey using a mainstream definition— those are voluntary. This is an interrogation— your response is required by law and it feels like a strip-search of your personal information.

There is a glut of information about ACS and some fine editorial comment questioning privacy issues that I'll link to later. It took some creative Googling to find any personal accounts of other people who share my viewpoint. Most of the ACS protesters are buried deep in Google's pages, a few forum comments here and there, mostly dated.The ACS seems so easy to dismiss— until you get one. Am I obsessing about this, taking it too personal, being overly suspicious, distrustful, paranoid? Am I missing something? Noooooo, I don't think so.

Perseverance pays off! Imagine my surprise when I found a website called Survival Arts with the longest running ACS commentary dating from 2004! What a great read! Trust those gut feelings— it is them ,not us. Russell was going to take the ACS portion off and then it started getting busy— so busy in fact, his website stats showed bureaucratic interest.

Thank you Russell, for the inspiration and graciously donating your space for people like me. This Blog's for you!


99 Comments:

At 7/19/2006 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. J.,

I love your site. It looks wonderful! I've yet to receive the infamous ACS document but since you say it came addressed to you as resident, chances are I probably just threw it out.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye open for it in the future since I do need a new dart board. Thank you for keeping us all informed and God bless you.

Love Gumby

 
At 2/04/2007 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! It's good to see a fellow "CalGal" - I am from SB. I have received a VISIT from a census employee on this horror of a document. I don't trust this administration as far as I can throw it.

I am wondering where are the sites/info on legal challenges to ACS. I bet they've been scrubbed from the web.

Any ideas for me?

 
At 2/20/2007 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usualy, after an initial reaction, I just get over it and move on. This survey (interogation, actually) is too disgusting to get over. This is an email I sent to Fox News....

The American Community Survey would make a great story.

It is mailed to select individuals, and requires extensive personal information, under penalty of law.

Some of the information you are required to disclose, or face penalties and jail time:

Monthly gas, water and electricity bill.
Amount of your mortgage and monthly payments.
How much you would sell your property for.
Why you live there.
What mental or emotional conditions you may have.
Do mental or emotional conditions make it difficult to work.
If offered a job, could you start one.
What are your work activities.

Given the track record of government agencies being less scrupulous than the private sector, in openly selling private information, they cannot be trusted.

However, it is more the gross abuse of power, in this unconstitutional collection of private information, and the strong-arm penalties for not providing it.

PLEASE! do a story on this, and expose this gross abuse!

- John
Nashville, TN

 
At 7/10/2007 7:01 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

I'm glad that someone is collecting people's stories about the American Community Survey. Here's mine.

ACS Makes Me Uncomfortable

I hope the budget for this thing gets canned. I don't see how else it would go away.

 
At 8/26/2007 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My beef was not the survey itself but the manner in which they tried to get it to me.

I live in a small town which doesn't have street mail delivery. All mail is to a post office box (which we receive free). But the ACS may not be delivered to a PO box. Something to do with security. But a PO box is MORE secure than a home mailbox. We must verify our street address and identity when getting the PO box. The ironic part is that a mailed and completed survey is to be sent back to -- wait for it -- a PO box!!

Apparently after failing to get the mailed version to me they wanted to do a phone survey. I refused that since I couldn't verify the identity of someone on the phone.

After multiple mildly threatening phone calls they finally sent an actual person over. After verifying their identity I complied with the survey.

 
At 11/08/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got one.
Help me spock.
What is required and what is not?

 
At 11/09/2007 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really don't have to do anything but ignore it. No one has ever been prosecuted for non-compliance even though the harsh threat "criminal prosecution" appears on the envelope. Here's what happened to me...Multiple mailings (3), reminder cards (3), two phone calls, home visits (3). Two of the home visits were from a regular census taker with a laptop and the third was from the District Supervisor who left a card. I have an unlisted phone number. As the ACS creeps and crawls through the US, gathering information like a giant bottom feeder, it is gnawing away our Civil Liberties and every scrap of our right to privacy. There will be no need for the Patriot Act.

 
At 3/25/2008 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Survivalarts.com, a discussion board on the resistance strategies to the ACS is no longer available on the web. Does anyone know if this is the webmaster's decision or a government crackdown?

 
At 3/27/2008 6:14 PM, Blogger stelko said...

Ugh! I received one of these 'surveys' recently. The survey claims to have chosen me randomly. However, two years ago I received numerous phone calls, mail requests, as well as several personal visits by a census worker. All of which I ignored. Last year I moved only to be chosen randomly - again. ? Am I paranoid?

I decided to look up the ACS, which is how I came across your blog. However, before I visited your blog, I attempted to visit the Survival Arts page. As you may know, it's gone. Hmmm...

Honestly, I am quite upset about this. I definitely do not want to participate in the survey - no matter what guise they use.

An anonymous survey would be one thing, but this is way outside of my comfort zone.

And then there is the statement:

"You are required by U.S. law to respond to this survey."

Are you kidding me? Seriously, I am legally required to respond to mail addressed to 'Resident'? Ok, I have a response. Uh... how about -- "NO."

 
At 4/01/2008 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have received it too. So far a survey form, a post card, a second survey and tonight a message on my answering machine.
How did they get my number? The survey is addressed to resident, now they are going to start calling me? This government has my info. I pay taxes, a mortgage, I have a registered car, a child in school. All these things they already know! I'm not going to compile it for them. I have a job, if they want all this crap on me and my family THEY can do the work and look for it.

 
At 4/01/2008 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:pvV4lsAOon8J:www.survivalarts.com/archives/001095.html+the+american+community+survey&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=69&gl=us
This is actually the cache pages on google for the link in the ACS Just Say No article that doesn't work anymore. Try copy and paste, should take you to survival arts page.
Can also search for survival arts on google, then click on cache in the description.

 
At 4/01/2008 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm JJ the blogger here— I have other blogs and have to use my Google user name (they combined all the blogs) in order to post— it would reveal TMI— can't use "CalGal" anymore...I'm sorry to see Russell's site (Survival Arts) is no longer up. The "cache page" is from Feb.2006— It really was the best forum for a discussion on the ACS. This "dossier gathering" disguised as "Census Taking" still peeves me—

 
At 4/04/2008 7:47 AM, Anonymous Russell Whitaker said...

My apologies to those of you here who are also posting to my own blog about the ACS: I’ve moved to a new city, am back in college, and just went heads-down for a few months. The thread “‘None of Your Business!': the American Community Survey” is back in business.

Keep up the good fight, folks!

http://www.survivalarts.com/archives/001095.html

 
At 4/30/2008 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just received my copy. I will give my last name and that I was born in the U.S.-- I have responded.
The questions are very invasive and will be read by whom?
The way our government agencies lose things we would all be scammed by identity theft if the wrong people got ahold of the hard copy or government files.--Betty

 
At 5/06/2008 2:40 PM, Anonymous JW said...

I just received my copy and went bananas.

I called my Congressman (NYS), an aide said they'd get back to me. Someone did. Said she had never heard of it: could I fax it to her? I can, tomorrow, but for now sent her a lot of the google sites I found on it. A lot of the stuff is not recent. I'm going over the 4/04's survivalarts.com archives now to see what comes up. I do not want to pay fines, nor lose my savings in lawyer's fees, or go to jail (as they threaten -- can you believe it????) but the more I research this, the more I think people have to take a stand.


We'll see what my Congressman sends. I have to write to Hillary also.

Bush: where did you take us?

 
At 9/08/2008 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We received the ACS several months ago. I sat it aside as we are very busy, and I don't have a spare hour to fill out a lengthy survey. Then we received another one. I opened it up, and after looking it over, complained to my husband that it was very intrusive, and I was reluctant to fill it out. I'm not usually a paranoid type, but this was down right creepy. My husband, who is a lawyer, laughed it off until he sat down to work on it. He was shocked by all the very personal information it contained. Except for our Social Security Numbers, it contains all the information anyone would need to steal our identities! He filled it out, but have been reluctant to mail it. In the last week we have received two visits at our home from a census rep. (Whose salary we are apparently paying! Your tax dollars at work!) That makes me even more reluctant to mail it in.

 
At 10/06/2008 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am now experiencing this headache. I echo all of the privacy and Constitutional concerns of prior posters, as well as the technology-related security concerns (I am in IT). My wife filled out most of the survey but I refused to complete it and send it in. We have now received two forms and a packet left at the door by a local rep. Even worse, I realized from the business card that we know the field rep from our old neighborhood and I don't want to get into this with her, and I certainly don't want her to know how much we make, what time we leave for work, etc, so I don't want an interview in person or on the phone.

This is such an incredible violation that it just makes me sick, and I certainly don't trust the governments motives with recent wiretapping, Patriot Act, Homeland Security foibles, etc.

I've going to call the bureau in Seattle and enter my official response "refuse to answer beyond the number of occupants" and see what happens.

Wish me luck!

CAguy

 
At 1/03/2009 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got one of these in the mail yesterday. I was horrified at the contents and length. I thought about not sending it in, but I decided to be less passive than that. I put down the date I filled it out and how many people are living in my house (in other words, the only information to which the Census Bureau is entitled under the Constitution). To me, that constitutes a "response". We shall see. At any rate, I have asked my wife not to respond to any Census employees should they come by, beyond the number of occupants of our home. Somehow I doubt they'll go to all the trouble of collecting a $100 fine.

 
At 2/23/2009 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus, what a bunch of idiots. There are laws other than the constitution you dumbasses. Check out Title 13 of the United States Code. The purpose of these surveys is to compile information that allows fact-based decisions about federal funding priorities. The fact that response is mandatory illustrates the importance of the information gathered. But hey, don't respond. The Federal tax money ought to go to people intelligent enough to understand the benefits that government can provide.

 
At 2/26/2009 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our household received the survey book today, and we have no intention of filling it out.

To the post above mine: If people want to give all of this "important information" to the government, make it voluntary, not mandatory accompanied by threats and harassment.

 
At 2/28/2009 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like the person who said "Jesus, what a bunch of idiots...." is one of "Them". LOL

 
At 4/01/2009 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I cannot understand how so many people can be so paranoid. The ACS is a valuable tool not only for the government to make estimates about the population of the US and its demographic trends. It is also used extensively in academic research on demography, economics, and sociology.

Of course, the ACS data that is made available for research does not include any information that may allow anyone to identify the respondents. No one is interested in your personal information (I would like to see any real examples of people who have had their identity stolen from surveys like the ACS, NHIS, or NHANES), but the information provided in these surveys is indeed very important for issues you should care about, and by not participating you make the job of us in academia more difficult.

If you are curious to see how this data are used, I invite you to visit the IPUMS website (http://usa.ipums.org/usa/). You can even download ACS and other data from previous years. Maybe that will help lower your paranoia a little bit?

 
At 4/03/2009 4:50 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Not paranoid, angry about the invasion of privacy. I know how the data is used. I've heard your argument before. Further, I will not supply private info, which is protected by the constitution, to keep academics employed. This info is mine! I created it and it is NOT to be used by the gov or some twit who wants to study it no matter what the benefits might be for society.

 
At 4/10/2009 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also contemplating this survey. I felt like it was too intrusive...I mean, why would I tell someone what time I leave my house each day and what time I return? And why would I tell them where my kids go to school and what their names are? You have got to be kidding me. I don't feel this should be a required survey...if people want to give that information fine...but those of us who feel invaded should not have to. I don't know what I am going to do!

 
At 5/29/2009 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do they need your name and birth date? If they made it anonymous it would be easier to answer the questions. Paranoid yes I do not have faith in our government or its employees to properly handle my private information or to use it for the purpose they are stating. This i just another step toward our rights being taken away. I am surprised they don't ask how may times a day I use the toilets they are asking about. Who needs to know how many bedrooms I have? Nobody needs to know my mortgage or utility bills it is My BUSINESS and as long as I pay my obligations noone needs to know. Why do they need the address of my job? This is just too much personal information to hand out! I will fill in what I am comfortable with and refuse the rest. Maybe even fill it with an alias and let them figure it out. This is just wrong and

 
At 5/30/2009 7:47 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Your name is not required. The CB asks it so you can be contacted to verify your info. It is an administrative question. Your date of birth will be compare to your age so that the CB knows if your math is correct. If not they will contact you. Social, behavioral and economic scientist have created these questions to study the public and use the CB as a cover because the scientists can't ask the questions directly. The problem for the CB is that these questions should not be asked at all, since it is an invasion of privacy, which is why they won't fine anyone.

 
At 6/01/2009 10:05 AM, Anonymous RESIDENT said...

People who are serious about resisting ACS should be aware of at least the POSSIBILITY of being fined and set money aside for the fine and legal expenses if possible.

If the (possibly criminal ACORN packed) CB DOES fine anyone, this should be made as PUBLIC as possible. Calls should be made to every conservative talk show host and publication with demonstrations and flooding of Congress with phonecalls.

The whole point of the ACS "random" selection strategy was precisely so that neighbors who all got the same snoop-doc couldn't act against ACS publicly as a group. The point was to isolate individuals and try to intimidate them into compliance.

If a law-abiding citizen gets a visit from a CB snoop, said citizen should do some "snooping" of his/her own in terms of getting CB worker's name, license plate number, etc before NOT responding except to reveal the number of voting age persons in his/her household.

The ability to get as much information as possible on the CB snoop - including a criminal background check - would be priceless.

If any law abiding citizen gets fined for this encroachment on his Fourth Amendment rights, he/she shouldn't pay the fine without loudly and publicly hauling CB snoops' sorry butts to court.
Even if said law abiding citizen loses, the publicity will have made it well worth the effort.

Freedom has never been "free."

Just the fact that these CB clowns had to separate what is now known as the American Community Survey from the legitimate 2010 Census and arrogantly threaten law-abiding tax-paying citizens with fines, etc. for non-compliance is EVIDENCE in and of itself that ACS is an unconstitutional encroachment into the private lives of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens.The so-called "authority" that our legislators claim "authorizes" them to snoop is a bogus "authority" that they have conferred upon themselves and is an "authority" that goes way beyond that which we the people delegated to them when we voted them into office.

This so-called "authority" is more redolent of some third world crap hole and these "legislators" need to be called to account for what is more an ABUSE of authority than it is a properly delegated authority!!!

BTW, Isn't there any way of finding out if there have been any kickbacks from big corporations who are using our Congress to do their telemarketing for them?
Wal-Mart? Target? Whatever?

 
At 6/13/2009 8:13 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Relax,
You won't be fined because the congressional subcommittee allowed the "mandatory" on the survey to improve the response rates with the stipulation that no one would be fined. Should anyone be fined, the back lash would be even greater that the back lash the longform created during the 2000 census, which is why the ACS exists now.
The CB is lobbied hard by various groups to get their little pet research projects included on the survey. COSSA represents a huge group of social, behavioral and economic scientists who want access to your info. The marital history questions were requested by a group studying marriage. The college major question requested by the National Science Foundation to identify science and engineering majors. Various ethnic groups requested the race and country of origin categories to identify members of their ethnic group. The ACS is also used to screen for various resident characteristics so that the resident can receive other gov and private surveys.
The CB has the "Rapid Response Team" which keeps negative info about the survey out of the public arena and convinces elected officials how necessary the info is and that the "cooperation" of the public is paramount to the success of the survey. Since the public won't be fined, your elected officials don't care that you will be harassed by the government approved, taxpayer funded extortion ring.

 
At 6/27/2009 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You won't be fined because the congressional subcommittee allowed the "mandatory" on the survey to improve the response rates with the stipulation that no one would be fined.

What part of the law says the above:stipulation that no one would be fined.

 
At 6/28/2009 8:10 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

It is not stated in the law but in the subcommittee meeting minutes which allowed the law to be stretched to include the ACS as stated by the committee chair who granted the "manditory" status. This is the gray area. The law allows the CB to count persons because the Constitution mandates it. The Constitution allows the congress to decide how to accomplish the count. It does not mandate that additional questions be asked. Because of the outrage over the 2000 longform during the Clinton years, the CB thought that the response rate for the census would decline, so the questions were separated from the census, and voila, the ACS was born. When a person applies for any gov program, that person must supply private info to determine qualifications for that program. The mandates for those programs have been layered on to the ACS so that the CB can go "trolling" for individuals who qualify and don't know it. In the CB's own material, it is stated that no one will be fined. Why? Because it won't stand a court challenge. Plus, court records indicate that no one has been fined since the 1960's for failure to complete the census.
So let's do some math here. The ACS is sent to 250,000 residences/month. While the CB wants the public to believe that the response rate is 95%, in reality it is somewhere between 55-65%. So, if about 40% don't respond per month, that equals 100,000 non-responding residences per month and 1,2000,000 residences per year to prosecute. Anyone worried about being fined?

 
At 8/01/2009 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ACS is just a information collection tool for the goverment. They say your information is private and will never be gave out by the ACS and it is uses to make the commuunity a better place. Please read the form before you fill it out it is full of worms and loop holes for the goverment as I seen in on place were the information in th ACS form can be shared with other goverment depts other them the ACS, maybe the IRS wants to see it you are not doing your taxs right and lets not forget about were this will be place ? It will be placed in computer form with your name and addess and if not how would they know to come back to your house in summer of 2010 in person if they don't get it back? I would say they know who lives at a house were a person have lived for 15 year now. I looked at the ACS papers and said will ok this is not too bad name and date of birth address how many live at the house and basic juck ok that cool, then I turned the page and seen it got more strange like I was filling out a form to get on disablity from the goverment? things like can I dress myseft? Can I see or blind? Then the one about are you mental or emotional? Then they want to know were you work at address and all ? I tell you if this don't smell like a 4 day old fish under your car seat a person need to check out the old nose checked out it's not working. I would say it will be connected with you name address and each member of your family who writes in this and will be recorded so. This kind of information is Just what the NSA and FBI likes to see as far as the census bureau yes it will update stats on your city but this is a wolf is sheep Clothing for the fools that fill it out. But a person has to be concerned about the YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW? What will they do? I would say fine the household a big fee for each month the form is not returned after a paper is served? It is too much too fast right now with all the bills being passing over night that have over 1000 pages they didn't even have time to read just sign here and with all the money give aways, I didnt see any none at all yet ACS form I would say return it with what you want them to know or feel happy doing so but stop at were they ask your place of work. I know they will call people who didn't complete the form but they can't say you didn,t return it LOL. This ACS papers is a joke I see what they are doing and it's not to help you and I would say the ACORN people will do the work you know the ones who voted 15 time with other peoples IDs. I would say NO to this and fill out what you want as. If you think about it I didn't see a place were you had to sign so if they need stats give them that to them how many people are in the house color race, address? and please don't forget about the cat and dog, I know it's not on the paper just make a place that's cool. How did I get the paper I guess they know my address so just write that in as same as ship to on paper that cool, phone # I would just give them a old cellphone # that will work, ages ok I guess birth day? are they going to send me something on my birthday? I don't think so. This is a waste of my time this ACS thing. The next thing you know see is they will be wanting to pay you taxs on Ebay. Good luck all and hope this didn't offend anyone just joking around? maybe? maybe not? take care and do what you feel you should do with your ACS I already know were my is going to.

 
At 9/01/2009 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fucking cowards.

 
At 10/20/2009 8:14 AM, Anonymous Hubert said...

Before the nice lady at the ACS hung up, she informed me that I had been listed as refusing to answer the survey.
We may decide to not answer the survey and in doing so we are breaking the law. I honestly don't think that the Office of Management and Budget are trying to become "BIG BROTHER", they just love to collect information thinking that it will help the under privileged. In doing so they are encouraging "BIG GOVERNMENT".
A 2008 statement by Susan E. Dudley, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs U.S. Office of Management and Budget before a subcommittee about "Does Federal Statistical Data Adequately Serve People Living with Disabilities?", provides some insight into the thinking. She gave high praise to the ACS and makes it clear that the ACS has replaced the Decennial Census long form and will provide data annually, rather than only once a decade. Her goal is to focus on the non-institutionalized population ages 18 and over for the health status and including obesity, risk behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, insurance coverage, and access to health care.
I noted that lack of insurance coverage has now been lumped into a category with smoking and drinking as a bad thing. The question then becomes do we have the freedom to do things that are bad for us? And how far should we let government go in enforcing this.
After reading the statement on the back of the form, and checking out approval number from the Office of Management and Budget, OMB No. 0607-0810 I discovered that it had expired on 5/31/2008.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/rewrite/library/OMBINV.USDA.COMMERCE.html
OMB NO: 0607-0810 EXPIRATION DATE: 05/31/2008 RESPS:3,160,610 HOURS:1,917,410 COSTS(000):$0 The American Community Survey FORMS: ACS-1 ACS-1SP ACS-1PR ACS- 1PR(SP) ACS-290 ACS-1GQ ACS-4GQ

 
At 1/04/2010 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am beside myself with this survey we just received in the mail. We've had them calling our home over the past few months, too.

They want to know name, date of birth, race, whether you own your home, and how much it would be worth on today's markiet. They want to know how much you pay for insurance, both health and home insurance--they want to know sales of agricultural products from my home, or if there's a business there...they wantk to know if I have a fklush toilet, hot and cold runnign water, a stove or range, a refrigerator, a bathtub or shower.

They want to know how many automobiles I have and how much I pay for insurance, what kind of fluel I use for heating and how much do I pay. They want to know when I leave for work in the morning and what my schedule is. The want to know what anyone in the home makes insalary, along with savings and pensions...

This is just the tip of the iceberg. They ask medical questions aboug a persons phyusicalmental or emotional condition. They ask what kind of work a person does and you can't just say, "nurse," or "secretary." You have to describe the job.

They want to know how many days you've been absent from work, and when we last worked, when we started a job, was offered a job, or returned to work after being recalled. If a person is actively looking for work.

They state the average person will only take 38 minutes to fill out this detailed survey. To get out all the information they're asking about insurance, house payements, fuel payments, work history and the like--it would take me at least four to five hours.

I'm pretty steamed about this.

THIS IS INVASION OF MY PRIVACY.

 
At 2/12/2010 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not have a landline any longer. I am thrilled! No more bothersome calls, I own a pre-paid cell phone, and change it periodically, accepting a new number with each new phone, a couple times a year. I have a couple small homes, and can go back and forth. I do not answer my door unless I know who is out there ringing the bell. Friends contact me via Skype, a VOIP program. As Americans, we have rights...and must protect these rights. If you are arrested and charged with a crime over not answering a questionaire...it could be a good thing...I hope to keep my appearance up, in case it is me in front of the nightly news.
If they dare take that step, it would not be just one arrested and charged, it would be all of us. By the way...my knees are sore at the end of the day...and I have two bathrooms.

 
At 2/25/2010 3:26 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

You people are pathetic. The ACS is a data gathering instrument of the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a government entity which is part of the U.S. Commerce Agency. What is data? Data is the raw materials of statistics, that is statistics are generated from data. The ACS survey is basically the former "long form" of prior censuses, such as in the last census which took place in the year 2000. It is random in that respondents are chosen randomly, that is as much information as is possible on ALL the addresses in the country are placed in a computer and then a random generator program picks addresses to include in the survey. This helps to make the survey and statistical study valid and accurate.

Do some research on Title 13 of the United States Code (i.e. Federal Law). Title 13 protects the privacy and provides penalties for anyone disclosing information gathered via the ACS that can identify individuals with a given address. The Census Bureau takes guarding personally identifying information very seriously. ALL Census Bureau employees are sworn to uphold this law under penalty of being terminated as an employee for minor breaches of this law, and depending on the magnitude of the breach subject to criminal penalties up to $250,000 fine and up to five years in jail or both. This personally identifying information, identifying a given person with an address is used initially to make sure the person returning the survey is actually associated with a randomly chosen address to complete the survey. That is the sole basis of address, phone number usage in this survey, verification of the accuracy and randomness of the survey.

Such personally identifying information is not disclosed with any other government agency, such as the IRS and INS among others. In the past, other government agencies have attempted to get this information from the Dept. of Commerce and have been denied including the Census Bureau's being upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in denying other government entities access to personally identifying data. The Court cited the importance of the mission of the Census in upholding their position of keeping this information confidential, namely to provide data used to determine representation in the House of Representatives and state legislatures. Uncounted people means unequal representation in the House of Representatives and state legislatures for those who aren't counted and the communities they live in so those communities are still dealing with issues of their residents with no voice or a diminished voice in government if residents go uncounted. As for being unconstitutional, the Census Is In The Constitution.

(Continued)

 
At 2/25/2010 3:33 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

(Continued)

Also statistics are used by governments, Federal, state and local for planning purposes in making informed choices (such as where are school age children so money can be allocated for schools, sewer and water projects, road and other public works projects, senior citizen's centers/programs, etc.); business, such as banks (used in providing loans, mortgages, etc.), real estate agents/brokers etc.; college and university researchers, other researchers; you get the idea. The government uses the statistics generated by the Census Bureau to allocate federal monies for projects. So if your community needs a bridge or road or school construction or money for fire and police departments, etc., and federal money is available, local officials can point to these statistics to validate their need, otherwise if people aren't counted they still need services so you have to come up with the money for these projects usually via higher taxes or bonds which translates to higher taxes. Since you are already paying federal income tax why not get your community's fair share rather than pay higher county and school property taxes to make up for the shortfall.

Do some serious research on survey design, data gathering and statistics generation, educate yourself on what this thing is all about rather than anecdotal, word of mouth evidence which is usually uninformed and erroneous; a lot like that game "telephone" where people stand in a line and whisper something in the next person's ear and the last person in the line hears something quite different than was initially said by the first person. Or as someone else here stated: if you don't submit the survey federal money, maybe even some of yours if you are a taxpayer, will go to their communities, not yours!

 
At 2/25/2010 5:25 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Baloney Bob. Where in the Constitution does it say that the gov has the right to invade personal privacy to collect statics on the American public? Every once and a while a person like you outlines the same tired argument in favor of the ACS. Title 13 and title 18 are not amendments to the Constitution. I am offended by the use of our taxes to find a data mining, government approved extortion ring. In case you haven't been paying attention, our gov is broke. Borrowing money from the Chinese to fund these programs is hardly good governing by our elected officials. I'm tired of picking up the tab for wasteful programs. My community doesn't need gov money. Stop the whining. The ACS exists to protect government jobs and nothing more. Hide behind those gov programs if you want. They will last only as long as the tax payer or the Chinese will fund them.

 
At 2/25/2010 9:30 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Oh and Bob, I have done the research about how the survey was created and how it was designed. I have also read about the flaws inherent in the data collection; how the sample size is too small; how the data is manipulated with imputation; How the CB refuses to release the actual response rate because the it would impact the validity of the data collected. I have read countless reports and papers written by the data users which read more like a 5th grade project than actual, relevant research. Let's face it, sociology degrees are a dime a dozen. The reason that the ACS has been placed under the CB umbrella is because these researchers could not invade personal privacy any other way. If this info is so jolly well important, then GET A WARRENT!
If I quality for a gov program and don't want it, then that's my decision. If I can afford a house and choose not to buy it, that's none of the gov's business. Where I live in relationship to where I work, is none of the gov's business. If I want to live in the woods without indoor plumbing, that's none of the gov's business. How I have constructed my life, is none of the gov's business.
You're the pathetic one, since you had to use the typical, flimsy talking points in support of this survey. How about an original thought here. Your argument has been printed over and over in various materials printed by the CB and the social scientist supporters.

 
At 3/22/2010 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We first started getting phone calls last summer. we would tell the person on the phone that we were on the no-call list and that we didn't have to answer her questions. Then we'd hang up. It was the census bureau!

Random my butt--there's nothing random about this excercise in idiocy.

WE've receive a month of intimidating mail, a month of threatening phone calls and now we are being threatened because they need the information about us by some kind of deadline...first time I've heard of a deadline.

Fat chance they'll be getting any information us. They say they will send a rep for a "personal" visit.

These reps, from my research, have been specifically trained to get information out of us. We will not answer anything, until the rep answers a few questions of our own.

I have never been a paranoid person before...but I feel that way now.

 
At 3/22/2010 8:22 PM, Blogger Beth Niquette said...

If anyone is actually threatened with a lawsuit and a fine because of not fililng out the American Community Survey, call the Rutherford Institute. They are just waiting for the Justice Department to move on some innocent person.

YOu can find them online. They defend people against unjust government. They will represent you free of charge.

 
At 5/27/2010 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just got mine in the mail today... looking forward to having a little fun with the rep when they come knockin...this is BS and I refuse to disclose this sensitive and private information about myself to anyone.

 
At 8/21/2010 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bob - do a little research - Google the census laptops and see how many of them are stolen/not returned. What happens to that data? Secure my right eye. Also, a quick internet search will also tell you how the CB used data collected to find past military personnel and convicted them by way of the info gathered from the census. Last I checked we are still in the USA - and I should have a choice. My choice is NO THANK YOU. C. Wilson

 
At 8/22/2010 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well people, I just had another visit from my friendly census bureau person. Her 2nd visit. I am refusing to fill it out, and we had a 5-10 min conversation. As usual there were the threats with fines etc...and while I know no one has actually been fined or prosecuted, I have to admit I am a bit concerned...is there anyone out there that has had a similar experience? I feel strongly about my choice to say NO...anyone out there?

 
At 8/22/2010 9:26 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

There really is little point in talking to the CB reps. As soon as they make contact, they are to keep you engaged long enough to get some answers. The threats are quite empty. Only one third of the non-responders even get field reps visiting. The other 2/3 never get the threats. Just sit tight, the month is almost over and your rep will have to move on to someone else.

I would recommend that when talking to the field reps, try giving them a firm NO, NOT ANSWERING and then instruct them to leave the property. The more one talks to them the more difficult it will be to get rid of them. They are taught to be persistent.

 
At 8/24/2010 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANKYOU so much for your post Cathy. I appreciate your support, it helps me to stand firm on my belief that this is wrong, and as an american in our so called free country, I have a right to my privacy and to say no. You have strengthend my resolve...Besides, as another blogger posted - We don's have any of the info requested from us on the ACS about Mr. Obama...Make him fill one out!!

 
At 9/01/2010 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Brother-- Big Brother. I laughed out loud when I read those prying, intrusive,invasive questions. Remember-- Obama moved the census to the Commerce Dept. this year??
hmmm. sounded innocent enough huh?
I am not filling it out..
It will be interesting to see if my rebellion causes an IRS audit just to be harrassing.. Bring It On. Gami~getlostACS

 
At 9/03/2010 8:57 AM, Blogger RM said...

HELP MAKE THE ACS SURVEY BECOME VOLUNTARY, NOT MANDATORY!

Democrats, Republicans & Libertarians alike should all be concerned about the ACS survey asking intrusive questions that violates our right to keep our personal information private. I am a democrat and cannot believe how progressives are treating this survey as a non issue--it is unconscionable to say the least.

Support Bill H.R. 3131 to make the ACS survey VOLUNTARY - It has already been introduced in congress but hasn't passed yet.

Write a Letter to Congress to support bill H.R. 3131. This will make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary. For information about the bill and to find out who your congressional leaders are, visit:

http://censusthis.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/congressional-bill-h-r-3131-to-make-participation-in-the-american-community-survey-voluntary/

If you are going to write an email or a letter to a member of Congress there are some things you need to know:

See sample letter to congress on bill H.R. 3131 at:

http://censusthis.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/a-letter-to-congress-to-support-bill-h-r-3131-regarding-the-acs/

The RNC is in full support of having this bill passed into law.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2010
RNC PASSES RESOLUTION ADDRESSING U.S. CENSUS CONCERNS
The Republican National Committee passed the following resolution at their Summer 2010 meeting:

RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/08/rnc-passes-resolution-addressing-us-census-concerns.html?cid=6a00d834515c5469e201348632c077970c

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of the Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
As approved by the Republican National Committee, August 6, 2010

If the Democrat's DNC would get on board now as the RNC had recently done then bill, H.R. 3131 may have a good chance of getting passed into law.

 
At 9/03/2010 8:57 AM, Blogger RM said...

HELP MAKE THE ACS SURVEY BECOME VOLUNTARY, NOT MANDATORY!

Democrats, Republicans & Libertarians alike should all be concerned about the ACS survey asking intrusive questions that violates our right to keep our personal information private. I am a democrat and cannot believe how progressives are treating this survey as a non issue--it is unconscionable to say the least.

Support Bill H.R. 3131 to make the ACS survey VOLUNTARY - It has already been introduced in congress but hasn't passed yet.

Write a Letter to Congress to support bill H.R. 3131. This will make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary. For information about the bill and to find out who your congressional leaders are, visit:

http://censusthis.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/congressional-bill-h-r-3131-to-make-participation-in-the-american-community-survey-voluntary/

If you are going to write an email or a letter to a member of Congress there are some things you need to know:

See sample letter to congress on bill H.R. 3131 at:

http://censusthis.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/a-letter-to-congress-to-support-bill-h-r-3131-regarding-the-acs/

The RNC is in full support of having this bill passed into law.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2010
RNC PASSES RESOLUTION ADDRESSING U.S. CENSUS CONCERNS
The Republican National Committee passed the following resolution at their Summer 2010 meeting:

RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/08/rnc-passes-resolution-addressing-us-census-concerns.html?cid=6a00d834515c5469e201348632c077970c

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of the Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
As approved by the Republican National Committee, August 6, 2010

If the Democrat's DNC would get on board now as the RNC had recently done then bill, H.R. 3131 may have a good chance of getting passed into law.

 
At 9/05/2010 7:27 AM, Blogger RM said...

If you feel your civil liberties are being violated or you are being harassed, fined or even being threatened with imprisonment by the senseless bureau for your failing to comply with the mandated ACS survey then this video may be just what you are looking for.

Visit:

http://censusthis.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/being-harrassed-by-the-senseless-bureau/

 
At 10/15/2010 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys, it's really not that bad. it's completely confidential. yes, it can be frustrating dealing with faceless "bureaucrats" but they're doing it to gauge a better understanding and document the diversity of backgrounds and opinions of this country. There is no conspiracy to pry into the lives of every American, that's ludicrous. The fact that someone's devoted a blog to rant about the survey and big government, etc... is actually really interesting. It shows the depth of animosity, distrust, and downright hatred for the government, a growing trend over the last two decades. c'mon people, a little sanity, please.

 
At 10/16/2010 6:56 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

To the above troll poster,
Shove it!!!

This survey should not exist. The gov has no business collecting this data and threatening fines for non-compliance. If you want to fill it out, go ahead. As for the rest of us, we have the right to do what we want. Your little rant is nothing new to me. What surprises me, is how pathetic the your argument is. I've seen better. Is that what they teach you in social science school?

 
At 11/12/2010 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already filled out the survey in full and sent it in certified mail. The postal delivery person did not mark it as delivered until I e-mailed the area postal supervisor and postmaster. It was finally tracked as delivered. Census rep comes to my house past two "No Trespassing" signs on two occasions. The handyman instructs the guy to take a plastic bag I taped on my door with the tracking information print out in it; so he knows I am full compliance with the law. The handy man told me he tried to enter the premises through the front door only to be repelled by my well trained guard dog who goes aggressive only when the doorway is breached. The handyman had to tell this guy to stay out of the house after he was almost bit. All of this is on CCTV; very creepy. Field rep then reports me as a "no." Never even met the guy. Now, I get a FedEx letter saying I am out of compliance because of this field rep. I have given his name and recorded image/activity from my CCTV alarm system to a 'bet the company' local law firm to review. I am a soon to be divorced professional single working mother of two using all the strength of my existence to just keep going and I have this weirdo gov't guy stalking me.

My attorney told me that I am in full compliance with the law and is doing a background check on the field representative. When the field rep comes back, I am instructed to inform him as "the resident" through the door that he is trespassing and is never to return and to call 911 right away if he chooses not to vacate the premises promptly. He was specific not to mention harassment. My attorney told me to let the information stand as submitted on my fully completed survey in the Census Bureau's possession. I am not to answer any additional information or to add any clarification to the survey on any future contact. If pressed, I am to "take the fifth". I have a three lives I am trying to hold together without having to be menaced by census workers I support via my taxes. This is pretty intense to be stalked while in full compliance with their own interpretation of the statute. My attorney charges much more than the fine they can try and impose, and I will sue the Federal gov't to cover my attorney fees if pushed. Until this incident, I loved my government. Now, I fear it enough to hire a personal representative to protect me from the gov't and the lowlifes they employ. Hope this story helps other law abiding citizens out there. I guess they keep coming, even if you comply with the survey in full; Obamanation.

 
At 1/12/2011 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you effin' kidding me?? If this survey is 'random' and the address was chosen not the person, why do they want your name? How many illegals do you think are going to comply when it shows up in their mailbox? We need to get this stopped NOW! What a waste of tax dollars to create government jobs, no doubt. It is way too invasive!!

 
At 2/25/2011 9:29 AM, Blogger Rivrdog said...

I'm a retired cop, and my rule for 25 years while working was "there are no co-incidences".

During the census, I filled out only the constitutionally-required Question One, how many live here.

Now I get an ACS. Is there any data posted about how many of us who stood on our Constitutional rights are now getting the ACS, and if so, under what might it be searched?

 
At 2/26/2011 6:23 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

I received the ACS more than 3 yrs ago, answered one question on the 2010 and heard nothing more. The ACS is on a different cycle and is not connected with the 2010 answers you gave. Our gov is not that fast and not that efficient to have targeted you specifically. Right now the CB is targeting areas with populations below 65,000, because there is little data on those areas. The most you will get is the usual 90 harassment cycle, after which, the CB goes away.

 
At 2/27/2011 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my ACS,What did they do with the info from the 2010 US Census? I think the Feds. must have got the dates mixed up I'll fill it out and mail it back, but not until 2020.

 
At 3/04/2011 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have now received two 1/2pound copies of the survey 8 postcards, 2 phone calls and I don't see a resond by date on this form.....does anyone know what year this might need to be returned

 
At 3/28/2011 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the ones who actually support this survey and call us idiots... you are obviously working for them, so I say.... fuck off!

 
At 5/02/2011 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have received 3 copies of the survey in the mail and my first phone call from a Rep for The American Community Survey this evening. I told the woman I'm not completing the survey that I had already sent in my census. She wanted to know if it was the ACS survey. I told her NO. I told her I have answered the Census from the government, I have answered every "survey" from the Military since my husband returned from military duty in IRAQ but I have NO intention of ever completing the ACS survey. Ever! She reminded me that it was required by law that I complete it and mail it back. I asked here what law says I must fill it out or else. She stated the section blah blah and code blah blah. I asked her to go ahead and mail me a copy of the law that says I have to give her anything. She told me "I gave you the the law you will have to go to your local library and look it up". She said I could be prosecuted if I do not comply. I said OKAY and hung up on her. They will have to put me in jail and drug me while incarcerated because there is NO way in hell I will ever give them this information. They can have some little peon come follow me and peep in my window to see if my toilet flushs - what a SKAM! Check out HR 931 as of 3/21/2001 this bill will make answering this survey voluntary if it passes. Write your State Rep and push it thru!

 
At 5/02/2011 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I typed the year wront! Check out HR 931 as of 3/21/2011this bill will make answering this survey voluntary if it passes. Write your State Rep and push it thru!

 
At 5/10/2011 9:35 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Sorry, this bill will die just like all the others. The survey is voluntary because no one will be fined or forced to fill it out. The CB can only threaten fines. No one has ever been fined for not filling out the ACS.

 
At 6/26/2011 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

H.R. Bill 931 now has 23 cosponsors. The more cosponsors the better the chance of getting it through.

 
At 6/29/2011 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We received 2 surveys several months ago. I sent one back with the only information I will give out what I filled out on the census - how many people live in the home. That is it. We have been harassed consistently for the passed 3 weeks to the point I thought the guy was going to kick in our door last night. And to use the argument that this information is needed to support communities is bull. What do we have Representatives for?

 
At 7/16/2011 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been contacted 13 times (mail, phone, FedEx, personal visits). My Congressman's staff has been helpful, but the Dept. of Commerce is persistent.

 
At 7/16/2011 12:20 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

Not helpful enough to get it to stop. The CB likes being persistent.

 
At 7/24/2011 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received the ACS in March 2006 and raised hell with my elected officials, wrote the newspaper, called local radio talk shows, and refused to cooperate and they finally went away. I refused to participate in the 2010 census other than number of household voters. The first love letter has arrived as of July 22, 2011 to expect a fresh ACS in a few days. I will again refuse to participate.

 
At 8/21/2011 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received the ACS this spring. I looked first at the booklet describing how to fill it out. I feel very resentfull of the time that the government would steal from me in filling out this survey. They claim it will only take 30 something minutes but the questions are very specific and detailed, I know it will take much more time than that. So I resent the lie and the thieft of time. They say its for government programs but we are in recession and they are more likely to make cuts in programs than they are to help in anything. What really made me mad though was the postcard threatening me, that I was to fill out this survey or else. I'm sick and tired of the government throwing its weight around threatening people. The government acts like a bunch of thugs. I hear that in other countries the government is afraid of its people not the people afraid of their government. I don't see that this government has ever respected the basic humanity of people. The government hasn't been looking to really help anyone in a long time if ever. I don't see the point of this survey and the questions asked are way too personal, too time consuming, and don't appear anonymous. In fact it appears that they want a lot of information that could be used to track me down and continue to waste my time. The comments about identity theft are right on too. Maybe if the government handled this in a more respect way instead of acting like a bunch of thugs, they would have the survey back already.

 
At 9/06/2011 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What country do you live in?? Perhaps you should live in Middle East. Also how much of the information being asked is available right on the internet, facebook, linkedn, whitepages.com, and your local assessor's office.. We are in a recession and all the more reason to have accurate information to base the distribution of federal dollars that support programs your cities/towns/and states receive.
Maybe you should all just leave the US and go somewhere else where your civil liberties are more respected. When you find that country, update this blog please.

Sounds to me that you are all part of the 'problem', we have in our country. Maybe you should put as much effort into making things better in our country.

You should all just google your names and addresses and see how much is out there - public - for anyone who wants to know about you. You should be more concerned about that, not the ACS survey!!

 
At 9/07/2011 9:58 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Lookie, lookie, a data junkie has arrived, spewing the same tired CB taking points. This whiny lib came to scold and insult individuals for wanting to guard their privacy from an intrusive federal gov. Don't ya just love the logic too. Want your data being interpreted by this individual?

What country do I live in? Well it used to be a Constitutional Republic until the progressives turned it into a nanny state.

Yes, there is info already out there. There is a difference between having stuff posted on a social media account and having the gov compel individuals to supply private info. Info at the assessor's office doesn't contain info about my health, income, investments or anything else about me.

The recessions come and go, they are a natural cycle. What isn't natural was the misuse of info by liberal social scientists resulting in things like the housing bubble. Great work guys!!! When people are rejected for loans, it is because they can't pay it back, not because of institutional racism. So thanks again for tanking the housing market.

The federal gov has NO BUSINESS redistributing funds PERIOD. My community would be better off by not having the tax money sent to the central planners and then sent back to buy votes, pander and dictate mandates on how that money is used. To say nothing of having to pay all those over priced dim bulb federal employees who decide who gets the money and why. Further, 40 cents out of every dollar spent is borrowed or printed. I see that as a huge problem.


Bottom line, the gov has no business collecting this info. Data junkies need to get real jobs. Jobs that make the country stronger. But that is only a pipe dream, since they only skill set a data junkie has is being a liberal.

 
At 9/07/2011 11:59 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

File under: what is the real problem?

The ACS is not really about improving society or there would be signs that it has. It is not about improving communities because there is more intelligence in individual communities that a "one size fits all gov program". The way to fix poverty is not by giving the poor "stuff" that they will never value because they didn't EARN it. The poor are elevated when they work to acquire skills which can provide self-sufficiency. Big gov creates little people. This country is great because of hard working, creative people, not by a bunch of data points collected on a survey. The real info exists as the reason behind the data. The raw data accumulated by the ACS is not and will never be useful without the why behind the data. This country is being held captive by the narrow thinking of the gov policy makers and the social scientists search for relevance and importance in a world that really doesn't need them. Then, just like the toddler having a temper tantrum, the ACS supporters trot out to exert whatever they can to maintain their status. The CB has one function - conduct the decennial census. Hell will have to freeze before I give the gov any more than number of individuals at my residence. Anyone needing the CB to do more needs to amend the Constitution. Until then, data junkies, go pound sand!

 
At 10/04/2011 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ACS is a supplemental census document which will assist the government in determining its need for schools, hospitals and roadways per the cover letter I received.
This same information can be obtained in many more efficient ways and does not require thousands of individual responses. So what is the true purpose of this bar coded form?
When federal government requires personal information and goes through such effort and expense to obtain it (including threat of fines etc) there is reason to question the true purpose of the request.
I did receive the ACS and unlike many others I have decided to meet the request head on. I called the 800#, gave the person my name and asked her to note my refusal to comply. I further asked her to note I do not wish to be harassed either by phone or mail and to note the same.

 
At 10/23/2011 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone successfully fought the ACS? Has anyone been fined? I have received more mail and visits than the $100 fine is.

 
At 10/24/2011 5:21 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

No one has been fined. The fine is a threat to get compliance. Technically, there is no "fighting" the CB. The visits and calls stop at the end of the 90 days and nothing more happens. Public outrage will get the ACS stopped at some point. The CB has worked hard to run the survey under the radar. The more that people refuse to fill out the survey and the cost of running the survey increases, the better the chance of getting this to stop.

 
At 10/24/2011 12:07 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

File under: So where's the fine?

According to title 13, the congress decided to have a $100 fine for those not filling out the decennial census. During that time, the ACS questions were part of the census long form. The fine was later changed to a $5000 fine with title 18. Public outrage over the long form questions peaked with the 2000 census, which cause the CB to worry that the long form would cause people to boycott the census. So the long for morphed into the ACS. In spite of what the CB says, the ACS is not covered by the title 13 and title 18 fines because the ACS is considered "sampling", which is prohibited by the Constitution. When the "mandatory" was added to the ACS, it was done to increase the response rate and with the stipulation from the congressional committee that no one would be fined. Further, the CB won't have anyone fined because that would allow that person to have standing in the courts for violation of the constitutional rights granted by the 4th. 5th and 10th amendments.

 
At 10/26/2011 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. They have taken to harassing my neighbors by knocking on doors and asking questions about me. They even found my unlisted telephone number and now started a telephone campaign. They have surely spent more than the $100 fine.

 
At 12/06/2011 8:52 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

As far as I am concerned, my private information is none of their business and I will NEVER answer an of their questions. I don't care if its by mail or by phone call.
They can fine me if they wish, but I will not voluntarily ay these clowns a dime.

 
At 12/26/2011 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see,to quote another poster here;

"Perhaps you should live in Middle East."
-No you twit, you should.

"Also how much of the information being asked is available right on the internet, facebook, linkedn, whitepages.com, and your local assessor's office"

-Ok, then why are they asking us to fill anything out? Let them look up what public information is available, otherwise it's how many live here, no more.

"Maybe you should all just leave the US and go somewhere else where your civil liberties are more respected."

-No, what needs be done is to stand up to statist like yourself and tell you to stick it up your kazoo. You would do us all a favor if you would take your own advice and leave us to live our lives in peace un-molested by your or other government thugs.

"Sounds to me that you are all part of the 'problem', we have in our country."

-No, you and those who would compel our compliance to reveal our private matters under pain of law are the problem. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. I will NOT be searched by these thugs. I will NOT cooperate. You and other brown shirts like you are what is wrong. Look in the mirror for the enemy.

 
At 1/03/2012 9:37 AM, Anonymous josh said...

You are a fearmonger. I use census data to help people in need and you are trying to say that it is not valuable. Shame. Shame on you.

 
At 1/04/2012 5:21 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

BS Josh.... you want personal data to keep your job. You don't really help people by intimidating others to give up personal info against their will and in violation of the Constitution.

If all you data junkies really could help people with this data, the economy would be better and poverty rates would have gone down. Get over yourself.

 
At 1/04/2012 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Josh, if we're going to be name calling you are nothing but an ignorant trousered ape. Why don't you check Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution as to the purpose of the census. You have no right to any data except the count of the people. You have no right to pry into my life or anyone elses. If someone wants or needs help, you can make vomiting up the details of their private life a requirement of that help but not mine. I neither want or need what a limp wristed, no chin bureaucrat like yourself has to offer. Crawl back to your federal cesspool. Shame shame on you for demanding to pry into our private lives.

 
At 1/04/2012 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Josh what does the number of toilets, or the number of rooms that I have in my house have to do with helping someone else? What are you checking on? Do you just want to know if I have enough room so you can demand that I move your person needing assistance in to my house? Just wondering how all that data is important to someones need and the solution of that need.

 
At 1/04/2012 9:54 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

File under: By their own words they are condemned.

None of this data collection is about helping people. That line is just to obtain justification for liberal/progressive/socialist/communist ideas. It is base on the premise that the individual should yield to the collective. Then the collective can be jerked around by puffed up self-appointed "elites", who will run the bully gov and nanny state.

We are called to self-determination. A culture of entitlement will not serve nor survive. Nor will those who enable it survive either.

 
At 1/04/2012 10:48 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

The best way to help people is through community based projects and the private sector. If we get rid of federal gov programs, which grab money through taxes and redistribute that money mostly to purchase votes as opposed to need, we could save money by cutting out all the federally employed middle men, salaries, benefits and retirement plans. That savings could reduce taxes on the public and free up more money to help others. I do mean help and not maintain a welfare class. My community benefits from my ideas and not my data. Spread my work ethic, not my data.

 
At 1/04/2012 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy,
One of the most important points in having need based projects be either local or private (faith based) is the high pass-through of funds/resources of those in need. Just speaking off the cuff (I don't know exact numbers), for every dollar confiscated and re-distributed by the fed, the needy might end up with $0.10 on the dollar. Yep, some $0.90 out of every dollar sucked up by do gooders like Josh. On the other hand, you have groups like the Salvation Army that have a pass-through of some $0.90 or more directly to the needy with other hands on help available. I agree with Cathy, less Government and more local faith based help.

 
At 1/06/2012 11:13 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

The purpose of gov is to protect INDIVIDUAL rights. The purpose of the CB is to count PERSONS in order to define districts for representation and not to gerrymander the heck out of an area by race to insure that a minority or party in rewarded. That's it. That's all. So to use the CB to violate individual rights is abusive. One can not then justify that abuse is acceptable because of a vague notion of "helping people". People are not helped by being subjected to force. Trapping people in gov programs is NOT helping people. Those who promote the ACS are bottom feeding anti-American parasites.

 
At 1/08/2012 12:22 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

File under: The Price of "Helping" vs The reality of "Helping"

The data mafia clings to the notion that the ACS is necessary to "help" people and improve communities. That gov programs and policies, with all the attached strings and manipulations, are good for the "public welfare".
Let's assume, for this argument, that the goal is really to "help" people and not to increase the power and control of an antiquated, bloated bureaucracy composed of progressive morons. So... I have my own survey for them.

What is the cost of employee salaries, benefits and retirement?
What is the cost of supplies, office space, utilities, etc to provide a work environment?
What is the cost of work contracted out to calling centers and other contractors?
How much money was wasted for the malfunctioning handheld computers?
What is the cost of printing, mailing and processing the ACS?
What is the cost for providing seminars and classes to teach data junkie how to use the data?
What is the cost of grants to supporters who use the data for research?
What is the cost of training gov thugs?
What is the cost of doing damage control to hide the truth from the public?
What is the total cost?
How many individuals are "helped"?
What is the cost/individual for this program?

Now, is this the best method for "helping" people? Or is it better for the public to keep more of their own money and decide how best to help those in need in their own communities?

The gov will never let go of a bad or failed idea because of having to admit to the failure or to suffer the consequences of having wasted so much money.

 
At 2/16/2012 12:38 PM, Anonymous Conquistador said...

For Anonymous: The ACS does not ask 'why you live there'.

 
At 4/25/2012 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Received one of these today. I'm grateful to find this site. Lots of good info. From what I gather, I am constitutionally obliged to tell them how many people live in my home and that's it. From there, I can expect threatening mailings, phone calls, and possibly visits. If I hang tight and stand my ground and ignore them, do they back off after a while?

 
At 4/26/2012 9:19 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

The whole harassment lasts 90 days. It starts the 1st of the month that you receive the survey and ends the last day of the 3rd month, with some slight variations. Only 1/3 of the non-responders will get visits.
I gave them nothing, not even the number of persons at the residence. The ACS is a sampling of the population and the Constitution prohibits sampling.

 
At 7/26/2012 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had 7 visits from the census worker. The latest one was today. she sat in her vehicle in my yard for 15 minutes(seriously!). Then she left a note on my yard light that she would keep coming back until she gets information. Is it just me or is this stalking?? What rights do I have? She comes & parks in my yard in her vehicle while I'm gone & my daughters are here alone. This is some BS!!

 
At 7/27/2012 8:43 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Yes it is stalking. You can report her to the police or you can wait it out. This is crunch time for the CB reps because the end of the month is coming and they will have to move on to the next group of non-responders. My rep left notes for me too on my lamp and I left them there untouched. Expect more visits especially during the last few days. This is when the most pressure is applied. This is all designed to frighten people. Funny how this program is marketed as a "benefit to the community" while strange people in strange cars harass the members of the community.

 
At 7/29/2012 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy, you are so correct. That same woman came back that SAME day & sat in her vehicle for 40 minutes!!! I called the police & they said to tell her to leave or call her supervisor if I could. If she didn't leave or if she returned to call & they would come out. That solved the problem with her but, yesterday another woman came to my door. This time I threw the door open, told her I wasn't answering questions & leave my property & don't return. She said they may send someone else.
Really sick of getting hounded by these government goobers!!!
As far as I know, this doesn't even have anymore funding after this year thanks to the House of Reps. If so, DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD!!

 
At 11/15/2012 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote my response to an article regarding the tent city developed by the government in the aftermath of the recent storm “Sandy” yet what I had to say is also applicable here.
So many points to angrily react to in this article but I have one of my own. In the midst of a record disaster back east my household on the west coast was recently targeted to receive an “American Community Survey” from the U.S. Census Bureau. If unfamiliar with the survey much is said about it online. Anyway I was told by the person that hung the contact information on our front gate to call him and the survey would take about 30 minutes to complete. Most pointedly within the letter received the government threatens that a response to the survey is required by law or face a large fine.
My point is this, with so much confusion and need for attention for real solutions and help with the continuing disaster on the east coast why is the government wasting time and money hiring personnel to ask questions that they already have answers to by other available government data sources? Once again it seems more misspent tax money for an unnecessary paper chase is the norm.
I would also like to share in my feeling of uneasiness about the government, (my government?), threatening me to respond to their intrusive questions. I also, despite having served honorably in two branches of the military, honor student receiving my master’s degree, honor student in high school, honor student at a corrections officer academy, and having no criminal record, feel continuing unease with several of the government’s decisions. Some of their actions, as with this survey, create unnecessary frustration and given that I have no ill toward anyone and live peaceably minding much of my own business yet I am to be coerced, interrogated, threatened, and potentially harassed with criminal prosecution by my own public servants!

 
At 11/15/2012 9:30 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Yup..... it is all for the "greater good" don't ya know. We stupid people have to have someone from the gov to help us with our pathetic lives. That they, in their infinite wisdom, have figured out how the world should work and what the public will have forced upon them. Isn't it amazing how a group of morons with sociology degrees think that they have all the answers. The bottom line is that the gov can't get out of its own way and does more damage in an attempt to solve problems. FEMA is filled with the same compliment of worthless individuals as the CB. If they could get real jobs, they would not be working for the gov. In order for our massive gov to function, it has to remove all competition so that those who work for the gov won't be perceived as the losers that they are.

 
At 3/28/2013 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a victim to the ACS harassment from Dec 2012 (letters) and January 2013 (calls and letters) and February 2013 (calls, mailed letters, home visits, and personal notes). Mutilple calls nearly everyday, as early as 8am and as late as 9:55PM (my children go to bed much earlier than that). I could bare the calls because I could silence the ringer and clock the calls. But it was still unnerving. Then, in the thrid month, when the visits started, I started getting heart palpitations. I was being stalked, and spied on. I started looking out my window to see if there was a car parked in my driveway or at the curb before I headed out. Waiting until she leaved so I could leave. I've seen the field representative peering through my windows. Since I didn't answer, and the end of the month was coming, she went to my neighbors to ask about me. Am I living in the USA or in North Korea?!? Why does the ACS think it

 
At 3/29/2013 5:33 AM, Anonymous cathy said...

Yup, that is the way you feel. Take heart that you are almost done. We are socialized to be nice and obey the law. This whole program IS HARASSMENT! No citizen should be made to feel this way by the gov. This is why social scientists are so insidious. They don't care about individual rights. They say they care about advancing the collective while they protect their jobs. Collective rights, community rights leave the individual unprotected and are the marxist beliefs.

 
At 5/31/2013 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ACS survey requires that I do it on-line. I got it after I participated in a local "How do you feel about your local issues...blah...blah" telephone survey. With all the recent stuff going on I am having problems believing that the two are not linked. There's no way I am doing it on-line and giving them my IPaddress.

 
At 6/17/2015 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm So happy to have found this forum, I received my Acs read some of it then decided,I will not answer any of the questions!My story is i got a few letters, By mail,Then the dreaded worker at my house! Well they can't get to my front door because its gated off with a lock on it. My family & friends have to call first. So for about two weeks she would sit in front of our home for an hour with her laptop, Then tape a letter with that ugly blue painters tape to our gate, Then she moved it to our Garage Door.So a few days days since it's summer, It was rainy and cooler so we opened our front door, Then all of a sudden she pulls up again. So i gets up and closes the door! Well i guess that made her mad, This day she gets out the car,started walking all around the gate to find an entry which it was none, It's a hip high fence so it appeared as if she wanted to climb over but for whatever reason she did not! Then she ends up walking around to the other side of the home found a side door we have connected to the Garage which leads into the house. She tried to open it, Locked!! Then she made her way toward the backyard for the first time, Locked!! We keep a lock on that gate too! So she decided to peer though my kitchen windows, Creeped my kids out, Next thing you know we hear Banging, Banging on the side garage door, Then the front of the garage! Well that peed me off, So for the first time i came face to face with our stalker! I said GET OUT of here you are trespassing!
So she says, You have to answer these questions, I said no i don't you are looking in my windows why would i give her personal info? Then neighbors started to come out and she got back in her car after yelling at me, Im turning you in for non compliance! the next day we get a fedex package tossed in the front yard, that got tossed in the garbage. never to have been opened! I called the police on her...Hmmm they never show up, she sat out there another 35 mins on her phone and laptop! Police said we are on our way I'm still waiting. I went to go down there to file a complaint for the peeping thru windows! I gets told i could not file because she did nothing wrong? And she was a census worker! So if she ever makes it through any open doors, I guess she will have done nothing wrong! What a great government we have? I guess i will be getting a worker soon? Or maybe a fine? Either way i will never give people like that my info! I'm sorry but i don't TRUST them.

 

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