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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LOS ANGELES

Hundreds of U.S. census employees gathered with city officials outside Los Angeles City Hall on Monday morning to kick off the first major field operations for the 2010 field count.

“Census data touches our lives every day,” said Esther Cepeda, manager of the local census office.

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar told the audience it was important to count each person.

“The groups who are most under-counted are the people who need our help the most,” he said, specifically referring to the homeless, immigrants or people of color.

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During the last census, Los Angeles missed out on about $200 million in federal funding because of under-counting, Huizar said.

Huizar also announced that census data collected by workers would be kept confidential and would not be given to immigration or police officials.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz


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