With hours to go to complete the 2020 Census, North Texas leaders and community advocates are making a final push for all households to complete the once-a-decade survey.
Fort Worth’s District 2 councilman Carlos Flores is a co-chair of the city’s Complete Count Committee.
“We still need to people to fill out the census. There is still time, even though we are talking literally the last day. Today,” Councilman Flores said Thursday.
Conducted every 10 years, the Census is required by the Constitution. Census data determines the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives each state gets, Electoral College votes, along with an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal tax dollars.
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For a fast-growing city like Fort Worth, Flores said that “wasn’t small change and could easily reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars”.
“We’re talking about very basic needs that really affect everyone on the local and state level. When it comes to a bridge that needs to be built. When it comes to roadways that need to be made,” Flores said. “Anything of that nature, the Census will identify what those needs are and provide commensurate federal dollars to address it.”
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported well over 99.9% of housing units have been accounted for. Officials said earlier this week, they were updating all external and internal guidance to reflect the new schedule including Census.gov and 2020Census.gov, which reported Texas’ self-response rate stood at 62.6% as of Thursday.
Local non-profits also rely on accurate data to improve where and how they provide services, according to Leah King with the United Way of Tarrant County.
“We have the Area Agency on Aging. One of the really important things we do there is to ensure that older adults have access to whether it’s food and those kinds of resources, but also dementia care and really to prevent senior isolationism The only way to do that is to have accurate numbers and when those accurate numbers are available, then that make means it up the door to potential funding,” King said. “Without an accurate count of how many people are living in certain areas, it makes it very difficult for us to know how much we need to raise and how much is needed back out in the community,” King explained.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, internet self-response will be available across the nation through Thursday 11:59 p.m.
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