2020 Census: Top 5 Ways You Can Plug-in

The 2020 Census is just around the corner. To make sure Texas doesn’t fall behind, there are many ways you can do your part by plugging-in. Texas stands to gain three new seats in Congress; receive federal funds for transportation, healthcare and other critical services; as well as attract businesses to invest in Texas. As a result, now is the time to think through ways you or your organization can plug-in. Here are a few tips:

  1. Learn More About the Census: To be an effective Census advocate, you must have the facts. Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a constitutionally mandated count of everyone living in the United States at that point in time. Texas’s next decade of policies and economic growth depend on an accurate and complete count of all persons in Texas. To learn more, visit CPPP’s 2020 Census webpage, which includes Texas-specific and national information about this critical count.
  • Understand your Hard-to-Count Areas: Every time there is a Census, it can be logistically challenging to count everyone. An undercount occurs when people are missed, leaving Texas with a smaller population count than our actual population. In 2010, significant undercounts occurred in areas across Texas, including large metropolitan areas, college towns, rural counties, and border communities. Today, an estimated 25 percent of Texans (6 million people) live in hard-to-count neighborhoods, where past self-response rates have been relatively low. Learn more about your hard-to-count areas from the Hard-to-Count Map.
  • Engage your Legislators Now: Texas’ current legislative session is the last one before the 2020 Census begins. Given the unique challenges facing this Census, Texas’ lawmakers will need to develop a statewide plan, create a complete count committee (CCC), and dedicate funding to ensure a robust 2020 Census outreach plan. House Bill 255 by State Rep. César Blanco and Senate Bill 1934 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa have been filed in the current legislative session to establish a statewide CCC. We have developed a one-pager that you can share with your elected officials to help them understand the importance of state support for a complete census count and why they can and should take action. Also, take a minute to send a letter to your state leaders to make sure every Texan counts on the 2020 Census.

  • Develop Local Support: Local communities in Texas have geographic and regional differences that create unique challenges and require unique solutions to make sure everyone is counted. Connecting with the Census Bureau’s Texas Regional Partnership Team is a great first step to learn more about their complete count guide and what work is already being done. In addition, CPPP’s resources on what localities can do can help you and your community brainstorm next steps. Please connect with Rebecca Briscoe (rebecca.m.briscoe@2020census.gov) at the Census Bureau to learn more.
  • Stay up to Date on All Things 2020 Census: The 2020 Census is important to follow. For national updates check out NALEO and The Leadership Conference. For the latest from the Texas State Capitol, follow CPPP Legislative & Policy Director Luis Figueroa. For all things Census in Texas, follow our Research Analyst & State Policy Fellow, Cassie Davis.
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