The enumeration process is now underway. If you did not receive or did not return your Census questionnaire, you will be visited by a Census enumerator. These Census workers will not ask for your bank accounts, Social Security Numbers or proof of citizenship! This process will take place throughout the month of May.
NEW!!! You can also fill out your 2010 Questionnaire via Phone! Households can submit information to the Census Bureau via telephone through July 30. The Spanish language hotline number is 1-866-928-2010 and the English language hotline is 1-866-872-6868.
Those who phone in their information can probably expect a visit from a Census worker to verify the address and physical location.
**New!! Questions on the 2010 Census? Find a Questionnaire Assistance Center near you!
Click here >>
The U.S. Census Bureau is distributing the 2010 Census to more than 130 million addresses across the nation this week. Mailing back the census form is the easiest way to participate in the 2010 Census, and every household should complete and mail back the form upon receipt.
“The 2010 Census is vitally important to the future of our county. The data gathered will determine local funding for vital local services, such as education, health care and transportation, and it will also play a key role in redistricting,” said Hidalgo County Judge Rene A. Ramirez.
“’I Count, Yo Cuento,’ is the theme that the Hidalgo County Census Complete Count Committee is promoting,” Ramirez said. “The committee has been working diligently on getting the word out that taking 10 minutes to fill out 10 questions will affect the next 10 years,” Judge Ramirez said.
Members of the Hidalgo County Complete Count Committee include representatives from all four precincts, as well as the County Judge’s Office.
Pct. 2 Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios said: “Households served by the United States Postal Service will receive their forms in March 2010. Census workers will hand-deliver forms through April 2010 in all other areas. One of the shortest census forms in U.S. Census history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete.”
Census data are used to reapportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and for the subsequent redistricting of state and local governments. Census data also help to determine how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to tribal, state and local governments for services that affect local communities. Specifically, census data are critical in determining locations for new hospitals, improving schools, building new roads, expanding public transportation options and creating new maps for emergency responders.
Census form answers are safe and confidential. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
Most of you have probably received your 2010 Census questionnaire in the mail. Some of you may have already mailed it back. But if you haven’t, we encourage you to take 10 minutes to answer 10 questions that will affect us dramatically for the next 10 years.
Census numbers affect a variety of formula-based federal programs. If you have or know a child that eats a free breakfast at school, the money that pays for the food is allocated based on the Census. If you or anyone you know has ever had to apply for unemployment benefits or enroll in the food stamps program, those benefits are granted to you because of the Census. If you have ever wondered why our public schools suffer, then fill out your Census form and be counted!
According to the
, a non-profit public policy think tank, “the accuracy of the 2010 Census will determine the geographic distribution of a substantial proportion of federal assistance, particularly in the form of grants, over the coming decade.”
In FY2008, 215 federal domestic assistance programs used census-related data to guide the distribution of $446.7 billion, or 31 percent of all federal assistance.
Census-guided grants accounted for $419.8 billion, or 75 percent of all federal grant funding.
See how federal assistance programs were affected during FY 2008 in Hidalgo County.
Representation at all levels of government is also affected by the accuracy of the decennial headcount. The Monitor recently reported that Texas is expected to gain at least three U.S. House seats, and with a complete count, a fourth could be added. Census counts even determine how local precincts, districts and even precincts are configured.
A bigger piece of the federal pie and a louder voice at all levels of government is what the Census means to us. So, please, take the time to fill out complete your 2010 Census Questionnaire and mail it back!
What Hidalgo County is Doing to Get an Accurate Count
Since early 2009, Hidalgo County has been engaged in “getting out the count.” According to a recent article in
, local and state governments must be much more proactive than in years past because of the rise in distrust of the federal government and because of the local knowledge that those of us running our cities and counties can provide.
Hidalgo County formed its Census Complete Count Committee (CCC) in 2009, and the CCC has been extremely active in making presentations, getting localized Census promotional materials into our community, and coordinating outreach with a variety of public and private partners.
The CCC is made up of representatives from each of the precincts, some of the smaller rural communities and the Hidalgo County Judge’s Office, as well as representatives from organizations such as LUPE, ARISE and the Texas A&M Colonia Outreach Program.
The CCC is gearing up for a Census “blitz” in the tracts with the lowest response rates on April 10, and they continue to work with other CCCs in our cities and with many other organizations and groups across the Valley.
What can you do to help?
Repeat After Us! Research shows that repetition works. You may think that people have heard enough about the Census from watching their telenovelas, seeing PSAs on the news or reading Census articles in the newspaper. But you can never hear enough about the Census or tell enough people about the Census! Keep repeating our vital message to increase participation! It is SO important that we all count!
Take Advantage of Resources! Check out the following websites to become more knowledgeable about the Census (and so you know what to repeat):
www.2010Census.gov : Starting March 22, you’ll be able to track how well our Census tracts are doing by seeing the response rates plotted on a map. Take advantage of this resource to make some targeted phone calls or visits.
www.yocuento2010.com: This is a local website that focuses on increasing the response rate in Hidalgo County.
www.co.hidalgo.tx.us: Official web site of Hidalgo County.
Email the Hidalgo County Complete Count Committee with questions or suggestions at
If you have questions, ASK! Questionnaire Assistance Centers are being set up all around Hidalgo County. Find one near you on the Census website or by calling 1-866-872-6868 for English assistance or 1-866-928-2010 for Spanish assistance. The hearing impaired can dial 1-866-783-2010 for TDD.
5 Reasons Why You Should Participate
1. The federal government uses census numbers for governmental funds such as health care, community programs, housing and job training.
2. State and local governments use census numbers for planning and funding for schools, streets, roads and buildings.
3. Community organizations use census numbers for social service programs, community projects, child care and elderly care programs.
4. Business use census numbers census numbers for the creation of jobs in your area.
5. Immigration status not required.
It’s easy. It’s important. It’s safe.
5 Razones por el que se debe participa
1. Los numeros del censo de las aplicaciones de gobiernos federales son para fondos gubernamentales como asistencia de salud, programas de comunidad y el entramiento de trabajos.
2. El uso del censo del estado y de gobiernos locales es para programs socials, el planeamiento financiamiento par alas escuelas, las calles, los caminos y los edificios.
3. Números del censo del uso de la comunidad organicaciones para los programs de servicio socials, los proyectos de la comunidad, el cuidado de niño y los programas mayors de la salud.
4. Números del censo se usa para la creación de trabajos en su area.
5. El estado de imigración no se require.
Es fácil. Es importante. Es seguro.