With billions in state-shared revenues, Congressional representation, and emergency preparedness at stake, the City of Las Cruces is joining forces with the U.S. Census Bureau for a complete count of people of all ages residing within the city limits.
At 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 31, at the City Council Chambers, the Mayor will hold a news conference to launch the City’s campaign for the 2020 Census called “Be Counted” or “Tu Cuentas,” in Spanish.
The campaign focuses on reaching traditionally undercounted groups inside city limits, including children less than five, the elderly, veterans, immigrants, individuals with high rates of housing instability, residents with disabilities, people with limited access to the Internet, and those who may be afraid to participate.
“Every member of our community deserves to be counted and have his and her voice heard in the 2020 Census,” said Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima.
It is Important
Census data guide the allocation of more than $800 billion in federal funding to programs like Medicaid, Medicare, State Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP), Section 8 Housing, Head Start, National School Lunch Program, Special Education Grants, and highway planning and construction.
If the Las Cruces population is undercounted 30 percent, we could lose $900.6 million over the next ten years.
“By answering the Census, our residents are essentially becoming superheroes who are protecting the future of our City and the future of our kids,” Miyagishima added.
It is Easy
By April 1, all homes should receive an invitation by mail to answer the Census. There will be three ways people can respond—online, by mail, or by phone. The U.S. Census Bureau encourages everyone to respond online, if possible. Anyone without Internet access may respond by mailing back a paper questionnaire, or by calling the toll-free number that will be made available.
The online instrument and questionnaire assistance will be available in 12 languages other than English, including Spanish. The paper form will be available in English and Spanish.
The 2020 census will be the first census to rely heavily on online responses. The City plans to host Census events in its senior centers, Parks & Recreation facilities, the Thomas Branigan Library and its satellite locations, the museums, and even at the Farmers Market where people can go to get help or access computers to fill out their census form online.
It is Safe
“Your responses are safe, secure and confidential. Every Census Bureau employee takes an oath to protect your information for life,” said Jamey Rickman, manager of the Community Engagement Office, which is coordinating the city’s census campaign.
The Census Bureau will not share any responses with immigration or law enforcement agencies, and if people respond online, their answers are encrypted to protect their privacy.
To learn more about the City’s 2020 Census campaign, visit Las-Cruces.org/Census or call (575) 541-2100.