Money and representation. The state of Texas relies on federal dollars for more than a third of its annual budget. In 2017 that was more than $269 billion. Population growth in Texas could bring the state three more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as billions of dollars, but this all relies on a complete count. The Texas Legislature will draw new voting maps after the 2020 census, and an accurate complete count is crucial to understanding where our residents live. In brief, state funding and democratic representation rely on complete census counts.
Unfortunately, in the 2019 legislative session, bills to fund a “complete count” in Texas were not approved and Texas has not allocated money to help ensure every Texan is counted. Start by telling your state representatives and state agencies why a complete count is urgent for our state. Then invite them to become Census Champions — introduce them to TexasCounts.org and encourage them to sign up and explore resources and contribute to the conversations in the crowd-sourced discussion forum. Texans deserve to be counted.
For years, the Census Bureau’s American Factfinder site has been a crucial resource for learning about needs in our communities. It is being replaced in 2020 by data.census.gov. Go to data.census.gov, look up Texas, and discover more about how Census data can help us understand our state better, and what our people need. For example, census data can tell us how many people have jobs and health insurance, and which cities and counties are growing.
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