Officials push Census 2020 count

Cameron County officials are urging residents to take a moment to fill out the 2020 census. Residents in Cameron County began receiving documents in mid-March and county-wide responses will determine the allocation of much-needed federal funding after the outbreak of COVID-19, officials stated last week.

“An accurate Census is critical for our growth and future and now it’s our time to let ourselves be counted and help shape the future of our local communities,” stated County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. in a statement issued April 1.

He has repeatedly mentioned the importance of filling out the Census forms at his weekly press conferences on COVID-19.

“This census count comes to us in a critical moment in life and I cannot stress enough the importance of what this count will mean to our communities.”

The judge added that responding to the U.S. Census is “easy, safe, and important” and may be done online, by phone, or mail.

According to Treviño, the count is “crucial” as it will determine the number of seats the state of Texas will hold in the U.S. House of Representatives over the next decade.

The census also influences decisions on the allocation of billions of dollars to local communities for essential services like educational programs, health care, highways, roads, bridges, first responders, and law enforcement, Treviño stated.

Last week, County Clerk Sylvia Garza-Perez urged local officials to spread the word about the census on social media. “Once we get through this pandemic, federal money will be needed to get our county back on track,” she wrote.

“Do your part. Hagase Contar! Be counted!”

Garza-Perez cited discouraging response rates nationally, state-wide, and county-wide. In the United States, 41.3 percent of citizens had responded, with Texas’ response rate at 36.5 percent and Cameron County with the lowest response rate, at 24 percent.

By April 6, the county-wide response rate had risen to 28.1%, according to statistics shared by the county on Facebook. Two days later, it had risen to 29.3%. According to Garza-Perez, Brownsville’s final response rate was 66.3% in 2010. This year, the city is hoping to reach a final goal of at least 80%.

The response rates in individual cities across Cameron County on April 8 included: Bayview, 35.3%; Brownsville, 33.6%; Combes, 15.8%; Harlingen, 33.3%, Indian Lake, 23.6%; La Feria, 18.9%, Laguna Vista, 42%; Los Fresnos, 33.9%, Los Indios, 9.3%; Port Isabel, 16.5%; Primera, 32.4%; Rancho Viejo, 37.1%; Rio Hondo, 12.5%, San Benito, 29.5%, Santa Rosa, 1.5%, and South Padre Island, 3.7%.

To respond to the 2020 census online, visit 2020census.gov. Residents can also mail forms sent to homes across the county, or by calling toll-free numbers available from 7:00 a.m. to 2 a.m. EST seven days a week.

English: (844) 330-2020

Spanish (844) 468-2020