Rep. Cuellar Announces Opening of Area Census Office in Laredo
LAREDO | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), October 10, 2019
LAREDO, TX— Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced the opening of an Area Census Office for the upcoming 2020 Census in Laredo, TX. The Laredo Area Census Office is projected to hire up to 12,000 citizens to work temporary part-time and full-time jobs. In addition, the office will employ around 50 managers, clerks and office supervisors. The office will cover 30 counties with a locally hired Census staff. The primary role of outreach staff will be to ensure an accurate count of the area and guarantee the proper distribution of information for residents.
As a member of the Committee on Appropriations, Congressman Cuellar secured $8,450,000,000 for the Census Bureau for FY20, an increase of $4,628,612,000 from FY19. He also supported language that ensures the Census provides language assistance to survey respondents, as well as increases outreach activities to historically undercounted communities such as colonias.
Speaking today, Congressman Cuellar stressed the importance of the upcoming Census and the importance of having individuals participate: “An accurate Census is critical to the proper functioning of our representational democracy. In 2010, Webb County was the most underreported county in the nation for persons under 5 years of age. This affected the funding for meals that our children received at their schools. This is one of many examples of why it is crucial that everyone in the community participates, regardless of their citizenship status. The opening of an Area Census Office in Laredo will provide the manpower and resources to ensure people in our district to not be overlooked or undercounted, especially when federal dollars are at stake.”
Congressman Cuellar continued, “I thank the U.S. Census Bureau, officials, school districts and other organizations in the district for working with us to ensure that we are properly prepared for the 2020 Census. I look forward to our continued work together in making sure everyone is represented.”
The 2020 Census
The Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau collects information every ten years, as mandated by the Constitution. The data collected is used to determine the distribution of $675 billion in federal dollars every year, and is used by local and state officials, as well as businesses, for the planning and development of local infrastructure including hospitals, housing developments, senior centers, and schools. Additionally, the Census determines the allocation of important programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, Head Start, and Highway Planning and Construction.
The Census survey begins on March 12th 2020 and will stay open until July 31st 2020. The questionnaires will be provided in English and Spanish and will be available in paper form, online, and over the phone. Census staff will have instruments to help them translate and they will hire Spanish speaking personnel. The Census will also have an outreach program for colonias.
Privacy protections, as mandated under the U.S. Census, state that each individual’s information is completely confidential. By law, the government and courts must keep the records of every individual private and they cannot use this information for distribution to any government agency, regardless of legal status. A citizenship question will not be part of the the 2020 Census questionnaire.
The Laredo Area Census Office will cover 30 total counties including: Aransas, Atascosa, Bandera, Bee, Brooks, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kennedy, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, Medina, McMullen, Nueces, Real, Refugio, San Patricio, Uvalde, Valverde, Webb, Wilson, Zapata, Zavala.
For more information on job opportunities, citizens can call 1-855-JOB-2020 or by visit the website 2020census.gov/jobs.