The San Luis Obispo County Administrative Office says the U.S. Census Bureau will be walking certain neighborhoods and knocking on doors to confirm and verify addresses in preparation for next year's census collection.
"It could have been anyone. He didn't have any identifiers other than a couple printed items," said Glenn Friesen, Arroyo Grande resident.
Friesen and his family in Arroyo Grande have already been visited for a U.S. Census address check, but he declined to participate.
"It's very frustrating to me that I couldn't, rather that I chose not to participate in the census because I didn't trust the medium," Friesen said.
The medium: Workers who arrive without a uniform or marked car.
Still, there are ways to identify them.
According to the U.S. Census, each representative will have a photo ID badge, a Department of Commerce watermark with an expiration date, and workers may also have a Census laptop or phone with a Census Bureau logo.
While residents still might be on the fence, officials say their cooperation is important.
"These help us apply for funding that we put back in the communities, and so that's why it's useful to have people want to cooperate and want to fill out forms and fill out questionnaires, because ultimately the money that we applied for is going to be based on information like that," said Adam Hill, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor.
The U.S. Census explains the reasoning for these visits on their website: "They help ensure an accurate and complete count by verifying address lists across a wide area of physical geography, housing structures, and residence types. Part of this effort involves census takers on the ground noting where houses, apartments, shelters, and other residences are located."
The U.S. Census states workers will try and knock on every door in the neighborhood that they are canvassing.
San Luis Obispo County residents may see Census canvassers in their neighborhoods as early as this week until mid October.
*The U.S. Census Bureau says everyone who works for the Census Bureau is a sworn employee, not independent contractors as previously reported in this story.