If not now, when?

4 Apr

Have you completed and returned your census form? If not, why not? Yes, it really matters that much. Census data is how federal funds for many different things are allocated to communities. The feds can only allocate monies for people they know are there.

I was appalled to learn recently that my community has only a 33% response rate right now. Really? Come on, people. Stand up and be counted. Every opportunity we lose because the numbers just aren’t there is on your head. Or at least the heads of the two-thirds of the community who didn’t respond. Don’t look at me. I’m in that 33%.

My community had a 68% participation rate in 2000. Still pitiful. How pitiful? Well, Travis County missed out on more than $235 million in federal funds for transportation, road maintenance, health care and public education. That’s pitifully pitiful.

I work pretty @*&%-ing hard to bring money into this community, and we just let $235 million slip away from us. I think someone owes me some money.

The questions on the census form, as some would lead you to believe, are not invasive. It is basically the kind of information that casual acquaintances would know about you. Name, age, ethnicity/race, religion, who lives with you. Nothing too revealing and certainly nothing that you don’t voluntarily offer about 90% of the people you meet. Some of it they can glean just by looking at you.

If you haven’t received a census form, ask for one. It’s not just your obligation to be counted, it’s your right to be counted.


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