April 1 is “Census Day” in the U.S. By now, every household in House District 1 should have received in the mail an invitation to respond online or by phone to the questions that make up the U.S. Census. This year is the first time that Americans can respond electronically to the census questionnaire. If you choose to return by mail, you will receive a written survey in the mail by mid- to late-April.
The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
Why bother? The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to offer daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and other resources based on census data. Responding to the census will help Northeast Texans redirect some of their hard-earned taxes back to Northeast Texas.
Beginning next January, the 87th Texas Legislature will use the census results to redraw congressional and legislative districts to ensure all these districts have approximately the same number of people to ensure fair representation. These counts will also be used to determine the number of seats Texas will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Texas’s current congressional delegation has 36 members, and because of the state’s growth over the last 10 years, that number could grow to 39 giving the state more clout in Congress.
It’s required. The 2020 census will be the 24th time the United States has counted its population since written into the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, which “mandates that the country conducts a count of its population once every ten years. The first U.S. Census was 230 years ago in 1790.