You count and everyone in your home counts. That’s why I encourage you to take part in the 2020 U.S. Census. Yes it’s months away. But preparations are well underway now, along with related public education campaigns, because your participation is important to the city of Houston’s financial future and in turn, your future.
I know there are reasons why some people may hesitate about being counted as residents of Houston: Fear of being singled out, distrust in government, or believing it doesn’t matter if you’re counted. But it does matter, and the information used in the census is not used against anyone.
Houston could lose nearly $1,600 in government funding for each person who is not counted. If we undercount 10% of the city’s population, we could lose $3.78 billion over the course of a decade. The roads we all use the parks we all enjoy, public health services and public facility projects could be jeopardized. Housing and workforce development programs could be hurt and school programs could be cut.
Racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speakers, low-income residents and homeless people are some of the hard-to-count populations we are working to ensure take part in this civic duty of being counted. The City of Houston is partnering with Harris County and Houston in Action for a robust outreach campaign that includes going door-to-door in communities to encourage participation in the census count.
You can earn extra money while helping your community to get a full count. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring for a variety of positions, including census takers. You’ll knock on doors to get an accurate count on the number of people living in homes. When I was in school, I spent some time as a census taker. I met many of my fellow neighbors for the first time and it’s an experience I still remember positively.
To learn more about jobs with the Census Bureau and to apply, please go online to 2020census.gov/jobs.
The success of the 2020 Census, and making sure the City of Houston gets the proper funds to support our residents, depends on everyone’s participation. I know you count. Now let’s make sure everyone in our city is counted as well.