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Census officials to raise awareness with kick-off event

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The Census Bureau is kicking off an awareness campaign Thursday in Minneapolis to remind people about the upcoming census count.  

The census count helps divvy up federal funding and helps determine how many Congressional seats each state holds.  This time around Minnesota is at risk of losing one of its eight seats.  Officials say that missing even 1,000 people could make the difference.    

Dennis Johnson is the Midwest regional director for the Census Bureau.  He said the bureau wants everyone to know what is at stake with the decennial count.  That is why it's holding kick-off events across Minnesota and the rest of the country.  That is also why it's embarking on a multi-million-dollar national advertising campaign.     

"We want it to be kind of an automatic response.  When the questionnaire comes, people know that it's important to get it filled out and to send it back in," Johnson said.

Census forms will be mailed to every household in the United States in mid-March.

The kick-off event is at 10:00 at the central library in downtown Minneapolis.