Montrose Bridges over the Southwest Freeway were lighted in Yellow this week to mark CENSUS WEEK.
Montrose Bridges over the Southwest Freeway were lighted in Yellow this week to mark CENSUS WEEK.

HARRIS COUNTY – Since 1790, as mandated by the Constitution, Americans have come together every 10 years to be counted. This record of every person residing in the United States is important as it provides the basis for the reapportionment of congressional seats, redistricting, and distribution of over $675 billion in vital annual federal funds to support state, county and community programs across the country. For perspective, it’s estimated that our community lost millions of federal funding because of undercounting. This is important for residents of Harris County. In 2020, let’s make sure everyone counts!


By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in Census 2020. There will be four options to complete: By phone, by mail, in person and, for the first time, online. Respondents will also have the opportunity to complete the census on their mobile device.


To ensure we are not overlooked, the City of Houston and Harris County have created the YES! TO CENSUS 2020 campaign, a local initiative inviting families, friends and neighbors to show pride in our communities by responding to the census.


Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on accurate census statistics like population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Our community benefits when we have more clinics, better schools, safe roads, and an expanding workforce. High-quality census data gives community leaders important information needed to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future. Standing up and being counted is an important way for individuals to impact where money to build and improve infrastructure is allocated across the U.S. This information is also critical to local disaster and emergency preparedness funding.


The census is the basis for distributing grants for economic development and informs decisions, such as local business expansion and neighborhood revitalization. We encourage business owners, as trusted voices in your community, to spread the word about YES! TO CENSUS 2020 by printing and posting signage found in the marketing toolkit (includes multiple languages, templates, Instagram carousel, flyers, emails, postcards and fact sheets). Find materials specific to your customer and community base, including: children, African American, Chinese, Persons with certain disabilities, Hindi-speakers, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, Non-Hispanic White, Urdu-speakers, Vietnamese.

Partners, like you, are critical to the success of a complete and accurate count in 2020. You have the chance to educate your community about Census 2020 and encourage citizens to respond. The census data is used in a multitude of ways and impacts funding and services around housing, education, transportation, and employment. Understanding the importance of this initiative is critical to our future as a city, county, state and nation.


Please help your community understand there is no jeopardy in completing the 2020 Census. Responses will be safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Answers to the 9 simple questions (like age, sex, and the number of people who live in your home–including children) can only be used to produce statistics. Responses cannot be used against them by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE.

Also important to note, the census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties.

If you have need for printed materials, they can be picked up at 8410 Lantern Point Dr., Houston, TX 77054. Please send your request to check out materials to Janeen Spates,