SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: The U.S. Census deadline is now Oct. 31, 2020.
The city, county and private groups have poured some $800,000 to advertise and do outreach in the community to ensure that everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. But the pandemic has made it a difficult task, according to Berta Rodriguez, census administrator for the City of San Antonio.
“We’re trying to be creative to ensure that the community understands the importance of it, that we can engage them where they are. And with the pandemic, where they are is in their home,” Rodriguez said.
Census workers are going door-to-door in Bexar County, trying to reach those households that have not yet responded to the government survey.
Rodriguez said 4 out of 10 households in Bexar County have not yet responded to the census. Texas has a self-response relate of just over 60%; Bexar County’s is about 65%.
“If there is an undercount of even 1% in the state of Texas, we stand to lose $300 million every year for 10 years,” Rodriguez said.
The state also stands to gain three new congressional seats if everyone in the is counted, she added.
Rodriguez said people need to think about funding for schools, community projects and roads as benefits to answer the questionnaire that takes about 10 minutes to complete. Her team is hosting caravans in areas around the city that have not self-responded to the census.
“There is about 35 to 40 cars with the fire engine and the police escort. We just make a lot of noise, and we are looking at these very grassroots outreach efforts to let the community know it’s time,” she said.
KSAT Community is teaming up with the Complete Count Committee for a Call-A-Thon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. City and county elected officials will be making calls to those households that have not yet responded.
The deadline to fill out the 2020 census is Sept. 30.
For more information on the U.S. Census, click here.