MANHATTAN — Her name is Dee. She asked us not to use her last name because privacy is important to her. And that privacy is something the United States Census Bureau won’t let her have.
“They keep sending me letters, FedExes; they keep coming to my apartment harassing me, stalking me, waiting for me,” Dee said. “Over a survey, a survey that’s completely voluntary.”
The Census Bureau administers the National Crime Victimization Survey. The survey is aimed at getting good information about crime in the country. In 2016, the bureau sent one to Dee – although she’s never been a crime victim - explaining her address was scientifically selected to participate. Dee saw that the survey is completely voluntary and threw it out. Then a field representative for the Census Bureau showed up at Dee’s apartment building—without notice.
“I told the young woman 'no, I have no interest in doing your survey. Please leave me alone.' And I walked away, and I thought that would suffice. I was wrong.
Then another census worker came to interview her.
“When you say no to someone and they ignore you, they’re abusing their power. This is coming from the federal government," Dee said.
Desperate to have it stop, she contacted Census Bureau Regional Director Jeff Behler. He said he’d take care of it. But he didn’t.
“They assure me they’re not gonna send anybody, with sugar coated words. ‘Don’t even worry about it.’ And then they show up at my apartment again!”
In addition to the unwelcome visits from the field representatives. Dee says the bureau is wasting taxpayers’ money sending notices and surveys in FedEx envelopes marked Extremely Urgent.
“A voluntary survey is extremely urgent?” Dee asks.
After two years of this, she contacted What a Shame asking us to get the bureau off her back!
No one from the Census Bureau would agree to do an on-camera interview. But after we questioned their actions, a spokesman said they would remove Dee’s name and address from the survey system. Dee was skeptical – and with good reason. She’d heard the same promise before. But so far, it’s been two months and she hasn’t seen or heard from the Census Bureau.
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