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Time is running out to respond to census
By Whitney Wyatt/
The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – With 50.6 percent of Childress County residents filling out the 2020 census, funding for Childress schools, highways, firefighters, housing for older adults and more could be lower than what is needed, local officials said.
“The lower the number reported, the lower amount of money we will receive,” Childress Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Leary said. “Funding is directly related to numbers turned in.”
When all individuals don’t turn in their census information, it lowers the ability to get the appropriate amount of money Childress needs, Leary explained. Personal information is not used in anything else.
“The government is not trying to put a chip in you and know all of your personal business,” Leary said. “This helps our community.”
In fact, it is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census or survey information that identifies an individual or business, according to the census website. This is true even for inter-agency communication: the FBI and other government entities do not have the legal right to access this information.
Since Childress’ response rate is over 50 percent, the census bureau will be reaching out by email to those households that have not responded, according to Lila Valencia, senior demographer at the Texas Demographer Center at UT San Antonio
The email address the census packet is being sent from is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valencia encouraged residents to respond to the email or go online to My2020census.gov and fill it the questionaire.
Childress County Judge Jay Mayden encourages Childress County residents who have not filled out the census forms to do so now before it’s too late. The deadline had been extended to Oct. 30 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, on July 30, the census bureau released a statement saying it “is working to complete data collection as soon as possible, as it strives to comply with the law by delivering a complete and accurate count of every person living in the country by the statutory deadline.
“We are currently evaluating our operations to enable the Census Bureau to provide this data in the most expeditious manner and when those plans have been finalized we will make an announcement,” the statement said.
“It is important to fill out the census,” Mayden said. “The census all comes down to potential funding through grants or other funds issued by the state or federal government. Many times, the amount distributed is based on population.”
Childress County’s 50.6 percent rate of filling out the census falls behind the State of Texas, which is 57.8 percent.