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Teaming with Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players' Association and Sports Illustrated, the U.S. Census Bureau has enlisted the all-star firepower of Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Ivan Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers to encourage baseball fans and all others who live in this country to participate in Census 2000 and hit a "home run" for their communities. Each of the three players has made a 30-second public service announcement that will be released in late February.
"Baseball reaches a wide audience and appeals to people of all backgrounds," said Kenneth Prewitt, director of the U. S. Census Bureau. "We are honored that three of the game's most trusted, respected and popular players are helping to inform diverse communities about the important role of Census 2000 as a national civic ceremony and to reassure everyone that the census is confidential."
Bonds, 36, the Giants' veteran outfielder who has been named the National League's Most Valuable Player three times, was born in Riverside, Calif. Bonds urges the public to fill out their census form by making the point, "I'm not afraid to steal an extra base, meet a wall head-on or stand in against a 100 mile-per-hour fastball. So why should I be afraid to fill out the census? Your answers are confidential."
Jeter, a 26-year old shortstop raised in Kalamazoo, Mich, has been named to Major League Baseball's last two All Star games. In his public service announcement, the Yankee shortstop says that if he's not afraid to give out information about where he lives and works, "why should you be afraid to fill out the census form?"
The confidentiality theme continues with Rodriguez, the Ranger catcher who has been on the All Star team eight times and earned the 1999 American League Most Valuable Player award. He talks about how filling out the census form is the only time his personal life is private. Rodriguez, born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, encourages people to participate in Census 2000, which he notes is strictly confidential.
The PSAs will air on NBC during NBA games, The Family Channel, TBS and TNT, USA Network, The Weather Channel, ESPN2, FX, Sci-Fi Channel, Animal Planet, Nick at Nite, TNN, VH1, Comedy Central, FOX Sports, The History Channel and network affiliates. The spots emphasizing confidentiality and intended to reach a multicultural and diverse population will run on JumboTron/Diamond Vision scoreboards in 25 of the 28 Major League Baseball parks from opening day through May.
As mandated by the Constitution, a census is conducted every 10 years. The results of the census are used in a variety of ways that benefit all residents of the United States. The census provides the data for fair political representation. It also provides data that are used by decision makers in federal, tribal, state and local governments when allocating important resources. Businesses use census data to determine products and services relevant to the community.
The Census Bureau needs the help of local residents to conduct Census 2000. Job opportunities include census taker positions in communities and neighborhoods and office work. A large number of part-time positions are available. For more information on census jobs in your area, call toll-free 1-888-325-7733.
The Census Bureau guarantees that the answers given on census forms are kept strictly confidential. Information collected in Census 2000 will provide local area data needed for communities to receive federal program funds and for private sector and community planning.