West Texas is Counting on you to get Counted
West Texans are accustomed to having to fight for a prosperous future. From the work required to establish Texas Tech University nearly a century ago to ensuring Lubbock was connected to the nation’s interstate highway system via I-27 five decades ago, we know that if West Texas just has a seat at the table, we can get results.
Last week, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce joined Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish, Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope, the League of Women Voters, and the Lubbock Complete Count Committee to kick off the area’s 2020 U.S. Census efforts. The Census isn’t just paperwork to fill out – it’s a critical effort that requires the participation of everyone in Lubbock County to help ensure that we continue to grow as a community.
The 2020 Census will inform future redistricting decisions for our elected representation in Austin and in Washington, D.C. Being located in a rural region of the state means that Lubbock and West Texas have less elected representation than portions of the state with lots of traffic… or as others call them, “dense population centers.” But we could be in jeopardy of having even less of a voice in the legislative process if we don’t get a full count during the Census.
Completing the Census just makes sense; and it also makes dollars and cents. Lots of them. One person being counted for the Census equates to roughly $15,000 in federal funds for Lubbock. In a County with more than 300,000 residents, missing even a few thousand people from the count would ultimately cost us tens of millions of dollars through 2030 when the next Census is conducted.
We don’t have a choice but to pay federal taxes every year, but the Census gives us the chance to make sure federal dollars are proportionately appropriated in the years to come for essential services like public safety, transportation, healthcare, and education.
With technological advances, doing your part and completing the Census is easier and more convenient than ever. Not only can you complete it by mail or by phone, but for the first time ever, you can also fill everything out online.
So keep an eye out for Census information to be mailed to you in the coming weeks. Remember why it’s so vital to the future of Lubbock and the surrounding area. Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to get counted too. Tell them their participation is worth $15,000 each for Lubbock over the next 10 years. Lastly, pick the most convenient way to fill out the Census for you and your family, and do your part. Lubbock is counting on you to get counted.