Public officials are holding an open house celebration in San Francisco today to announce the opening of a local census office in the city’s Potrero Hill neighborhood.

The U.S. Constitution requires that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. In March, the census bureau plans to mail a census form to each household for the April 10, 2010 census.

The bureau will be opening two local census offices in San Francisco, which will employ up to 3,000 people during the peak time.

Census data is used to determine the boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts. According to the bureau, more than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed each year based on census data. That money pays for programs and services such as free lunch programs for low-income students, vocational training, road construction and emergency services.

Officials expected to attend today’s 2 p.m. opening include Congresswoman Jackie Speier, state Sen. Leland Yee, state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Supervisors Carmen Chu and David Campos.

Other participants were to include the Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP; Ana Perez, executive director of the Central American Resource Center; and Ralph Lee, regional director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The office is at 1550 Bryant St., at 15th Street.

All census information is confidential and cannot be accessed by any other government agency, including the FBI, the IRS or immigration services. Courts and local law enforcement agencies are also barred from accessing census information.

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