HARLINGEN — City officials are getting an early jump on Census 2020 with Mayor Chris Boswell and District 4 Commissioner Ruben De La Rosa planning a Census Walk on Friday in that district.
The walk is being organized by De La Rosa as a way to create some face-time with residents of his central city district about the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census.
The official Census Day kickoff is April 1, but census forms will begin going out in the mail on March 12. Recipients of the mailed forms can fill them out and return them immediately and don’t have to wait until the official date. People can also be counted online this year for the first time.
Census 2020 is receiving more attention from municipal and county officials in the Rio Grande Valley this time around than any population count in memory.
Valley-wide what’s at stake are potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal monies allocated to cities and counties across the region based largely on population. Over the 10 years between census counts, experts say each person who goes uncounted can cost a city as much as $1,500 a year, or $150,000 over 10 years.
The Census Walk in District 4 will start at 5 p.m. at 713 South M Street (the corner of Fillmore and M Street). Participants will visit homes in the area and the adjoining Los Vecinos Community.
For years Census Bureau officials rejected complaints of significant undercounts coming from the Rio Grande Valley due to unease about immigration status or a lack of trust in government exhibited by some Valley residents.
This year, for the first time, the Census Bureau has established offices in the Valley to try and help minimize any undercount.
The census conducted every 10 years is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The data collected helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed. These federal dollars go toward building roads, schools, hospitals and responding to natural disasters, among other things.
WHAT – Census Walk in District 4
WHEN – Today starting at 5 p.m.
WHERE – 713 South M. Street (the corner of Filmore and M Street)