I've been meaning to write this post for a while. I still probably get about 5-10 hits a day from people searching the term "American Community Survey" and I wanted to say thanks for stopping by! I hope the things I've written have given you something to consider.
Our ordeal with the Census Bureau is over for now--but I am still willing and eager to continue fighting the horrendous waste of time and money and invasion of the privacy of law-abiding citizens known as the American Community Survey.
Remember: The only official Census takes place every 10 years. The next one's due to take place in 2010. The only thing the Census Bureau should ask during the official Census is the number of people living in your dwelling. Why? So that the number of Representatives for each state can be recalculated.
The American Community Survey, with its 28 pages of questions about whether you had a baby last year, or how much your mortgage payment is, or what the addresses of your current and previous employers are, and what time you leave in the morning for work, should be abandoned entirely. But it won't be, since it gives lots of people in the federal government reasons to remain employed by the federal government. And the answers that people provide give lots of other people in the federal government reasons to exist, too, because the purpose of the survey is ostensibly to help "decision-makers" provide services for our own good.
They won't give it up, at least not easily. So I recommend resisting it. To my knowledge, there has not been one prosecution for refusing to fill this crap out. Not one--even though it's written into law that you can be fined anywhere from $100 - $5000. That's a lot of money to risk, sure. But you are a private citizen--remember that you do not owe ANYONE that information, not even your friendly government who obviously must threaten us with large fines for refusing to comply--because they know that most people would just toss it in the trash otherwise.
They are also banking on the fact that most people will see the words "Census Bureau" on the envelope, recall something dimly from 10th grade Government class about the Census being in the Constitution, and fill it out without being aware that this form is not the official Census that James Madison was talking about and that this isn't even a Census year. I keep seeing comments on other ACS sites to this effect. This 28 page form is NOT your civic duty and it is NOT in the Constitution. Please, remember that.
The feds are counting on us being ignorant and compliant. Educate yourself, consider the nature of the information that the federal government wants you to provide, and make a conscious choice about what you are doing. And drop me a comment if you decide to resist--I enjoy reading them and knowing that there are other people "out there" like me!