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A Once-Every-Ten-Year Day

Wed Dec 22 2010
Robert Groves
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Although a little more intimate than I’m comfortable with, I thought people might like to know how I spent my day yesterday. At the outset, I confess it is hard to describe the scale and intensity of a day when so much of the nation’s attention is focused upon us.

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It began early (didn’t get my exercise in). By 7 or so, I was in my office at the Commerce Department, one block from the White House. I had seen the 2010 Census counts and the reapportionment figures for only a few days, and I needed to make sure I was reasonably familiar with them. We had been setting up the press conference program with our communications staff for several days, but I wanted to go over small details.

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At about 8:15AM, I visited the Undersecretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, and briefed her on the overview of the 2010 Census state counts. We reviewed how the counts compared to the demographic analysis figures released two weeks earlier and how the apportionment counts compared to prior census changes.

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Groves with Blank

At exactly 8:30AM the Census team arrived with the official document certifying the state population counts and the reapportionment results. I signed the transmittal to Dr. Blank. She signed the transmittal from her to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. We walked down the hall to the Secretary’s office together.

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We briefed the Secretary on the findings, the rate of change in the national population count, major demographic shifts reflected in the state counts, and the identity of the states that gained and lost seats. He then signed a transmittal letter to the President.

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The Secretary left to hand-deliver the documents to the President.

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I went to the National Press Club to prepare for the 11AM press conference.
All was in great shape – the giant plasma screen for the graphics, the dynamic graphic software application. We reviewed the setup and went over various details.

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At 11AM sharp the Secretary, the Undersecretary and I entered a packed room with a full row of 30 television cameras at the back. The press conference began.

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Beginning at 12:45PM, I was rushed from TV studio to TV studio for short interviews with national TV networks, ending about 7PM. Today began at 5:30AM with television and radio interviews with stations throughout the country.

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I am very proud to be able to represent the thousands of Census Bureau staff in this endeavor. They have worked very hard for several years to make this possible, and I am humbled that I happen to be the individual currently at the helm when we give back to the country the results of this collective achievement.

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Yesterday’s data release is just the start of the returns on that investment. We at the Census Bureau look forward to years of data releases and new insights to our changing nation as measured by the 2010 Census.

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