Md. off to a good start on census

Thank you to The Sun for your March 18 editorial urging prompt response by all Marylanders to the 2010 census ("Return your census form," March 18). We're off to a great start. After the first week, 24 percent of Maryland households had returned their forms -- nearly twice the national average. Folks have remarked to us that, as advertised, they're easy and quick to fill out.

But the work of Maryland's Complete Count committee isn't over. We're reaching out to community leaders, clergy and others to spread the message, especially in economically challenged areas that are traditionally the hardest to count. You can view those areas from the last Census by clicking on "Hard to Count" at our web page You can also learn on our web site how we're faring on mail-back rates for the 2010 Census by state, county, even down to your ZIP code. Please encourage neighbors, family and friends to return their forms promptly. Your help will be critical in ensuring that Maryland receives its fair share of representation and federal funds in the coming decade. Everyone counts.

Richard Eberhart Hall, Baltimore

The writer is Maryland's secretary of planning.

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