"As Congress begins consideration of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Budget Resolution," we joined with our Census Project coalition allies to appeal to Congress for a big jump in census funds.

Our February 26, 2008 letter requested "an allocation sufficient to accommodate the significant funding ramp-up required in the final year of preparations for the 2010 decennial census."

Census data is the essential underpinning of statistical sampling for any survey, opinion and marketing research in the United States.

"To enable the Census Bureau to perform its essential operations and constitutional requirements, the Administration has requested $2.6 billion in FY 2009. The request is double the FY 2008 appropriation of $1.3 billion. However, as you know, the Census budget is cyclical and must increase dramatically in the years preceding the census to pay for necessary preparations."

Such 2010 Census preparations include: "opening early local offices, hiring temporary headquarters and regional staff, printing hundreds of millions of forms, verifying local addresses across the country, and conducting promotional activities."

Our letter emphasized that "The groundwork done in the final year before the census will, to a large extent, determine the success of the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau must receive, at a minimum, the President’s requested funding level, to ensure that vital preparations are thorough and timely."