THE BRONX - Local leaders held a rally Wednesday to encourage Bronx residents to fill out their census forms and mail them back.

New York Sen. Rubén Díaz Senior held a rally with Gov. David Paterson and other officials at the Hunts Point train station to stress the importance of the census for the area.

The push by elected officials seems to be working, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting Wednesday that the participation rate in the Bronx has risen to 36 percent. However, Bronx residents still trail New York State and the rest of the nation in sending back their census forms.